If the Allegiant Experts Blog has proven anything over the past few years, it’s that there is no such thing as a holiday for health care fraudsters in the United States. We receive daily updates about the latest health care fraud cases and the disgraced physicians who perpetrated the crimes. Of course, physicians are not the only individuals who have taken advantage of our health care system. But the number of doctors who have sought to defraud our nation’s health insurance programs is staggering.
A husband and wife team of doctors, Patrick Emeka Ifediba and Uchenna Grace Ifediba, are two of the latest to have been indicted for health care fraud. As reported yesterday by Stephen Dawkins in the Shelby County Reporter, the Birmingham, Alabama couple has been charged for their roles in a conspiracy that generated a whopping $7.8 million in health care fraud. Their 44-count indictment from last week accuses them of using their clinic as a “pill mill”.
The scheme was a family affair.
The Shoal Creek residents conspired with two others including Patrick Ifediba’s sister, Ngozi Justina Ozuligbo and Clement Essien Ebio, in a scheme that involved unlawful drug distribution conspiracy and money laundering. As Dawkins reports, the charges brought against the foursome stem from its association with Care Complete Medical Clinic, which is a Birmingham-based private clinic that provides allergy and pain management services.
“The indictment charges that the four defendants stole millions of dollars from health care programs by fraudulently billing for allergy treatments and services,” writes Dawkins, “Patrick and Uchenna Ifediba also are charged as part of an unlawful drug distribution conspiracy. The husband and wife team churned out prescriptions for Schedule II controlled substances—opioid painkillers—for no legitimate medical purpose in order to maximize personal financial gain, according to the indictment.”
The opioid crisis continues.
The Ifedibas are also alleged to have forced their opioid-dependent patients to submit to unnecessary allergy testing and treatment in exchange for prescriptions. The DEA has found the acts of the disgraced doctors especially troubling given the state of opioid abuse in the United States. Both their agents and task force officers have been investigating the couple and their cohorts for three years in an effort to bring to justice these drug dealers who hide behind their medical degrees.
As U.S. Attorney, Jay E. Town points out in Dawkins’ report, the opioid crisis accounts for tens of thousands of American deaths every year. “Physicians who pocket millions while taking advantage of patients, many of whom are addicted to opioids, and unnecessarily drive up health care costs for both patients and insurance providers, knowingly sacrifice the efficacy of care for greed,” Town is quoted as saying.
The charges never seem to end.
“Patrick Ifediba and Ozuligbo are further charged as part of a money laundering conspiracy,” Dawkins reports, “Among other violations, the siblings moved the proceeds of CCMC’s unlawful health care fraud and pill mill scheme in order to hide the illicit nature of the funds, according to the indictment.”
Evidently, there is no end in sight for instances of health care fraud in our nation. As a result, the Allegiant Experts team remains vigilant in assisting attorneys who require clinical expertise during their health care fraud cases. For more information about how we may be able to help your case, please don’t hesitate to call us at 407-217-5831 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.