HOUSTON (CN) – A Nigerian man was arrested and charged in a $45 million Medicare and Medicaid billing fraud that netted him more than $1 million, federal prosecutors said.
Tony Nnonso Obi, 56, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Nigeria, was arrested Tuesday upon the unsealing of a 20-count indictment against him, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a statement.
“Obi is charged in relation to the Houston-based City Nursing health care fraud conspiracy which has resulted in the conviction of four individuals to date,” prosecutors said in the statement. “The new indictment charges Obi with conspiracy to commit health care fraud, health care fraud and money laundering.
“The indictment alleges Obi paid money to ‘recruiters’ and ‘marketers’ who brought Medicare beneficiaries to City Nursing, that he paid Medicare beneficiaries who came to City Nursing and that he also referred Medicare beneficiaries to City Nursing.
“The indictment further alleges Obi received approximately $1,051,425 in payments from City Nursing over the 2 1/2 years it was operating.”
City Nursing’s owner Umawa Oke Imo, its manager Kenneth Ibezium Anokam and one of its doctors, Christina Joy Clary were convicted in May 2011 of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, health care fraud, mail fraud, money laundering and structuring of financial transactions after a three-week trial, prosecutors said.
City Nursing employee Joann White pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud in February 2010, prosecutors said.
If convicted, Obi faces up to 10 years in prison, and a $250,000 fine for each charge.