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Fort Bend resident one of seven convicted in fraud scheme

By LeaAnne Klentzman

“Tony Nnonso Obi, 56, a naturalized U.S. citizen from the Federal Republic of Nigeria, has entered a plea of guilty for his role in a massive health care fraud conspiracy that billed the Medicare and Medicaid programs for more than $45 million,” said US Attorney Kenneth Magidson.

Obi, a resident of the Houston section of Fort Bend County has been convicted of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and money laundering along with seven others.

As part of Obi’s plea deal he admitted to entering into an agreement with the owner of City Nursing, owned by yet another Fort Bend resident Umawa Imo. According to the US Attorney’s Office the agreement would allow for Obi to receive 15 percent of the money Imo’s City Nursing obtained from Medicare for services and referrals billed on Obi’s behalf. “Imo, who is currently serving more than 27 years in federal prison for his role in the conspiracy, paid Obi $1,051,425.28. At least three of the beneficiaries taken to City Nursing by Obi were individuals living in Obi’s assisted living facility.

Obi also admitted to paying beneficiaries and recruiters and handling office matters when Imo was out of the office,” said Magidson.

Obi faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each count. He is scheduled for sentencing on November 5, 2012. The others involved are awaiting adjudication.

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