Dallas ring, Houston chiropractor caught up in Medicare fraud bust

Published: 2011-03-08 14:47:04
Author: Mark Lisheron

  A Dallas ring that billed Medicare for more than $1 million while bribing and paying kickbacks to patients for unnecessary medical services in their homes was broken in the largest Medicare fraud sweep in U.S. history, according to Attorney General Eric Holder.

The federal government charged 114 people in nine cities including Dallas, Miami, Los Angeles, Brooklyn and Detroit and Miami with attempting to defraud Medicare of $240 million through dozens of unrelated schemes, the Wall Street Journal is reporting today
 The defendants include Houston chiropractor Justina Amuche Okehie, who together with five others was charged for fraudulent billing in an alleged physical therapy scam. Okehie’s lawyer said his client had pleaded not guilty.
The sweep stemmed, in part, from a series of stories the Journal has written over the past six months outlining the breadth of fraud in the federal health care system. Dow Jones & Co., publisher of the Journal, has filed suit to overturn a 1979 privacy rights ruling that prohibits the public, which pays the bill for Medicare, from examining the billing records of individual doctors.