Friday, September 15, 2006
Houston Social Services Business Owner Sentenced To 4 Years In Medicaid Fraud SchemeHOUSTON - Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott today announced a four-year sentence handed down late Wednesday against Vincent C. Agu, 55, the owner of a Spring family services counseling clinic located at his residence known as Innovations & Imaginations.
Following the week-long trial, he was also fined $10,000 for his scheme to fraudulently bill Medicaid for counseling services he never rendered, a third-degree felony.
“One of my highest priorities is to uphold the integrity of the state’s Medicaid program by going after criminals for Texas taxpayers,” said Attorney General Abbott. “I thank Harris County District Attorney Chuck Rosenthal for assisting us in obtaining a worthwhile sentence against this man.”
Innovations & Imaginations was established to provide case management services for the Texas Health Steps program, which assists Medicaid-eligible families in locating health care services in the community. While examining $202,000 in Medicaid billings Agu submitted from April 2002 through August 2003, investigators with the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and the Harris County District Attorney’s Office discovered he claimed $21,000 for services he did not provide to clients.
Investigators also seized Agu’s 2003 Mercedes during his November arrest because the vehicle was thought to have been purchased using illegal Medicaid reimbursements. This forfeiture proceeding is pending.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant Harris County District Attorney Lester Blizzard.
To obtain more information about the Attorney General’s efforts to fight Medicaid fraud, access the agency’s Web site at www.texasattorneygeneral.gov.