Christina Clardy: West U Doctor, Two Others Convicted in $30 Million Medicaid Fraud

Categories: Courts, Crime

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Christina Clardy among those convicted.
Christina Clardy, a 61-year-old West U doctor, was convicted with two other people of running a massive Medicaid-and-money-laundering scam that somehow involved Nigerian tankers, the U.S. Attorney's Office announced today.

Kenneth Anokam, 56, and Nigerian citizen Umawa Imo, 57, were also convicted in the scheme, which involved up to $30 million in Medicaid funds. Another Houston doctor, Dr. Thaddeus Hume, 63, was acquitted on all charges.

"During the 13-day trial beginning May 9, 2011, the jury learned that City Nursing Services of Texas Inc., a clinic located on the 9800 block of Bissonnet Street in Houston, billed Medicare and Medicaid for approximately $45 million worth of physical therapy services they did not provide over a two and a half year period," prosecutors said. "By March 2009, Medicare and Medicaid had paid approximately $30 million dollars on the physical therapy claims."

The feds then began asking questions, and not liking the answers they were getting.

The charges also included "five counts of money laundering related to five transactions totaling $2,805,195 from a City Nursing bank account for referrals, the purchase and shipping of tankers to Lagos, Nigeria, as well as a check for more than $1 million payable to Imo himself," prosecutors said.

It was quite the operation:

Jurors heard testimony from numerous Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries about how they were paid for coming to the clinic and signing undated blank treatment forms. One beneficiary testified that when she asked for physical therapy, she was told the clinic did not provide that type of services and was instructed to go to her primary care physician for a referral. Another beneficiary described the clinic as looking like an unemployment office with people just hanging out, and referred to a day when he saw an employee direct a patient to make a pot of coffee.

There was no licensed physical therapist working at the clinic and "treatments" were predominantly limited to short massages and hot packs. Beneficiaries could use the treadmills and other exercise equipment at their own will. Three former employees of the clinic testified about how they handed out cash given to them by Imo and Anokam to beneficiaries and to "recruiters" or "marketers" who brought beneficiaries to the clinic.

Sentencing is set for September.

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7 comments
Orbing
Orbing

How in the hell does this type of stuff happen? If I were to be shop-lifting or something of that nature I would have been thrown in jail before I had a chance to even blink! These people can operate a run-down medical center where people are not even getting the treatment that they so desperately need, the patients are getting ordered around to make coffee, there is no assistance on the physical therapy equipment, and whatever else they could bill Medicare and Medicaid for without actually performing the service! WHAT INSUFFERABLE SORRY EXCUSES FOR HUMAN BEINGS!!! Medicare recipients are not on easy street; they have a premium and a deductible in a lot of cases; trying to manage these bills and others on Social Security that never gets raised although everything else is constantly having its price increased. Then, there are the Medicaid recipients that are struggling to make ends meet as well to afford any sort of luxury such as soft toilet paper. (That may be a little drastic, but you get my point!) Then, they are also laundering money as well as purchasing and shipping tankers to Lagos, Nigeria; what in the hell is wrong with these people?! Do they have no conscience?! Not only are they treating people very poorly when they arrive to the only place that the people can possibly go to get the medical attention that they need, stealing from them; as well as the state and federal government; then they are also paying to promote war! HOW DID THEY GET AWAY WITH THIS FOR SO LONG BEFORE BEING CAUGHT?! HOW DOES ONE EVEN GO INTO A PROFESSION THAT IS THERE TO ASSIST THE VERY PEOPLE OF THEIR OWN COMMUNITY AND THEN END UP ABUSING THEM AND PROMOTING WAR IN A THIRD WORLD COUNTRY; GOING FROM A LIFE OF ASSISTING AND AIDING TO A LIFE OF NEGLECT, THIEVERY, AND POSSIBLY EVEN MURDER AND THE POSSIBILITY OF WAR?! (I think it is a third world country anyway?!) I JUST HOPE THAT NO ONE DIED DUE TO THIS WHOLE MESSY SCAM!!!! The local authorities should be ashamed of themselves first and foremost, and then on up the chain of authority! They are just about as guilty of these crimes in this matter as far as I am concerned. There was not proper monitoring of funding that was being paid to this farce of  a medical establishment in the first place, or it would have been put to a stop much sooner!

Bonifiednothing
Bonifiednothing

What these people do to cover up these crimes is probalbly worse than the crimes themselves.

Druidican
Druidican

To the people of Houston, TX and everywhere else!!! Let it be known that this horrific and unjust trail ended in the only way it should for Dr. Thaddeus Hume....NOT GUILTY ON ALL COUNTS!!! As of 05/27/11 at the Federal Court House in Downtown Houston, TX; 4 people entered and only one man leaves!!!!!  Dr. Thaddeus Hume, family, friends, and a mass of supporters bore witness to the smallest amount of so called justice that was so rightfully due considering, the FBI's willful neglect to inform innocent unsuspecting doctors that the other defendants and their facility were under ongoing investigation for over 2 years prior to his minor involvement as a consultant.  Despite Dr. Hume's repeated investigations into the validity of the other individuals and their facility, which came up as clean and legitimate, the criminal activity of the FBI was in the lack of information sharing that could have prevented the suffering of an innocent doctor and his family, whose record of 30 plus years has been impeccable to say the least.  No amount of dubious activity on the part of the FBI should ever be tolerated by the American people.  It is in these ways that our liberties are threatened from within and our lives subject to the whims of individuals falsely loading their careers for advancement.  To see that the FBI and the cooperating medical organizations, who are meant to protect us, have blatantly violated so many ethics and laws in a self serving bid, gives reason to all in the medical community and beyond to beware and be vigilant.  The bad people that you want to look out for, not only consists of the wolves in sheep's clothing, but of the shepherds themselves.                                              Many thanks,                                                 Therron Hume, M.A. in Transpersonal Psych., M.A. in Clinical Psych., T.A.P. 

Tim Greene
Tim Greene

After paying out 30 million, the feds  started asking questions?  

big red
big red

For all you people who think Obamacare is the answer, these crooks will look like pikers compared to the massive fraud just waiting to be unleashed on a national health insurance plan. Ever wonder why it is always Medicare and Medicaid, and never Aetna or Blue Cross that lose money to these crooks?

MadMac
MadMac

Maybe because Aetna and Blue Cross keeps getting spanked on SEC and CMS violations for deciptive policies/practices, collusion, and egregious denials/exclusions. HI, MA, and VT have decided that single payer is the answer.  Texas, of course will not take a bargan and will demand to pay more, for less, as long as we can.

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