Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Garland Pharmacy Owner Sentenced in Fraudulent Prescription SchemeDALLAS – A Garland pharmacy owner today was sentenced to six months in jail and 10 years probation after pleading guilty to defrauding the taxpayer-funded Medicaid program. Eugenia Agugua-Okoye, 54, will also repay the government health care program $155,000 in funds she fraudulently received as a result of a prescription billing scheme. In addition, she was fined $10,000 on two counts of felony theft.
Last August, Agugua-Okoye, owner of Triumph Infusion Pharmacy, pleaded guilty to first- and second-degree felony theft after acknowledging her role in the prescription overpayment scheme. The defendant was sentenced by Dallas County District Judge Carter Thompson.
An investigation by the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) revealed that the defendant filled prescriptions that were neither ordered by physicians nor provided to Medicaid patients. Investigators also discovered occasions when the defendant provided prescriptions to customers, but billed Medicaid for more prescriptions or refills than she actually delivered to customers. The Medicaid program paid Agugua-Okoye’s fraudulent claims between January 2002 and April 2005.
Dallas County Assistant District Attorney Julie Lockwood and Assistant Attorney General Rodney Boyles prosecuted the case.
In 2006 alone, the Texas Medicaid program cost more than $17 billion. As the state’s chief law enforcement official, Attorney General Abbott has dramatically expanded the MFCU to save taxpayer dollars by rooting out waste, fraud and abuse in the Medicaid system.
The MFCU established field offices in Corpus Christi, Dallas, El Paso, Houston, Lubbock, McAllen, San Antonio and Tyler through authorization and funding from the 78th Legislature. It works with federal, state and local agencies across the state to identify and prosecute those who defraud the Medicaid program.
To obtain more information about the Attorney General’s efforts to fight Medicaid fraud, access the agency’s Web site at www.texasattorneygeneral.gov.