Federal agents raided a North Dallas home healthcare agency this afternoon. The agency operators and a recruiter were also arrested. The feds’ evidence includes undercover video shot by FOX 4.
Ollie Futrell worked as a home health care recruiter. Last fall, FOX 4 cameras caught her offering kickback money to potential Medicare patients to sign up for services.
The federal raid in Dallas happened at the offices of Alliance Healthcare Services on Estates Lane where agents packed-up and hauled-off boxes of evidence.
Last November, Alliance Healthcare Services CEO Ernest Amadi told FOX 4 that Futrell did not work for him and said he knew nothing about patient referrals and never authorized any payments. But that’s not the case, according to the feds.
Amadi, his business partner George Opurum, and their wives Edith Amadi and Agatha Opurum (who work as nurses for Alliance) were all indicted along with Futrell for conspiracy to commit health care fraud, conspiracy to defraud the United States and receive and pay health care kickbacks, and payment and receipt of health care kickbacks.
The federal indictment says that from November 2008 to November 2010 Alliance Healthcare Services billed $1,031.758.00 for Medicare patients who purportedly received no health care services.
The indictment refers to Futrell’s wheeling and dealing with Medicare patients, caught by FOX 4 cameras.
“I found two more patients,” one person said. “Okay, okay,” said Futrell. “But they want to know how much you’re going to pay,” the person said. “I’m doing a hundred a month,” Futrell responded.
Futrell told them she could get them approved for Medicare services before they even saw a doctor.
“We are not ashamed to take help from anybody, the media and investigative reporting such as done in this area is something that we are grateful for,” said U.S. Attorney James T. Jacks. “It provides extremely powerful evidence.”
Jacks says the indictments were part of a bigger, unprecedented federal take-down across the country. The feds busted 111 defendants in nine cities accused of ripping-off Medicare.
Jacks also says the feds will continue to target operators and recruiters offering kickbacks and warns Medicare beneficiaries to be careful.
“Some of the more brazen and less sophisticated fraudsters, that is their technique and so those are the ones we really want to go after to make the beneficiaries know this is going on…if somebody does approach you with such an offer, clearly it is a fraud scheme and they are subjecting themselves to criminal liability,” said Jacks.
Futrell pleaded not guilty in front of a federal magistrate judge this afternoon. She was released but ordered not to work in healthcare and not to leave Texas while the charges are pending.
Earnest and Edith Amadi and George and Agatha Opurum were also released but did not enter a plea. They will enter a plea at a hearing set for later this month.
The feds also indicted Hugh and Sylvia Jean Willett, the operators of JS&H Orthopedic, Inc., a durable medical equipment company in Fort Worth.
If you have a story tip for the FOX 4 I-Team to investigate, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 214-720-3361 or 214-720-3365.
KDFW FOX 4
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