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Two Charged in Medicare Kickback Scam

HOUSTON (CN) - Federal prosecutors charged two recruiters Thursday as part of a $45 million Medicare kickback scheme, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Houston residents Floyd Brooks, 45, and Gwendolyn Frank, 43, referred patients to City Nursing Services of Texas, according to the criminal information.

In October 2011, the company's Nigerian owner, Umawa Oke Imo, was sentenced to 27 years in prison for 39 counts of health care fraud. A federal judge also ordered Imo to pay $30.2 million in restitution to Medicare and Medicaid.

City Nursing billed Medicare and Medicaid for more than $1 million worth of physical therapy based on Brooks and Frank's referrals, according to the charges against them.

"City Nursing received approximately $790,460 in payment for those services from Medicare and Medicaid," the Justice Department said in a statement.

"According to the criminal informations, Imo allegedly paid Brooks approximately $13,700 and Frank approximately $24,500 for referring the beneficiaries to City Nursing."

Prosecutors said City Nursing paid the referred patients for signing undated blank treatment forms.

Brooks and Frank face up to five years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted of conspiracy to violate the Anti-Kickback Statute.

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