135 Month Sentence For $45 Million Medicare Fraud

Houston, Texas doctor, Christina Joy Clardy, was sentenced to just over 11 years (135 months) in federal prison for a monumental health care fraud conspiracy the resulted in Medicare and Texas Medicaid programs to be billed $45,039,230 over a 30 month period.

Clardy is the third defendant to be sentenced in this matter. Last week Umawa Oke Imo, the owner of City Nursing Services of Texas, Inc., was sentenced to 327 months (27+ years) for his role in the conspiracy and health care fraud.

Clardy, who was found guilty of one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, 14 counts of health care fraud and three counts of mail fraud on May 27, 2011, after an 18-day trial in front of U.S. District Judge Melinda Harmon, was also ordered to pay $15,626,084.01 in restitution to Medicare and Medicaid. In arriving at Clardy’s sentence, Judge Harmon considered the pivotal role Clardy played in abusing the trust of the Medicare and Medicaid programs by allowing the fraudulent billing under her provider numbers.

City Nursing billed more than $25 million worth of physical therapy services under Clardy’s physician provider numbers between January 2007 and August 2008. The United States introduced a letter at trial, sent by Clardy to Imo in July of 2007 – a year before she left the clinic, showing her knowledge of the fraudulent activities at the clinic, ordering Imo to immediately cease billing Medicare under her provider number, to notify Medicare of the prior fraudulent billing and threatening to notify Medicare of the fraud if he did not.

Clardy testified at trial that after Imo received her letter they had a private meeting at her house and after that she never contacted Medicare about the fraud and never asked Imo if he contacted Medicare or stopped the fraudulent billing.

Other evidence introduced by the United States showed that beginning in August 2007, a few weeks after Clardy’s letter, Imo began making large cash payments to Clardy and continued to bill approximately $21 million worth of false and fraudulent physical therapy services – Source.

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