HOUSTON—Gwendolyn Kay Frank, 43, of Houston, has entered a plea of guilty to conspiracy to violate the Anti-Kickback Statue for her role in role in the $45 million City Nursing health care scandal, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today.
The Anti-Kickback Statute prohibits referring beneficiaries to business that bill federal health care programs in return for payments. According to the plea agreement, Frank referred at least 28 Medicare beneficiaries to the owner of City Nursing in return for $24,500. City Nursing then billed Medicare for approximately $1,051,392 worth of services for those individuals which were not provided and received $712,052 in payments from Medicare and Medicaid.
Frank is the second recruiter to plead guilty to conspiracy to violate the Anti-Kickback Statue this month and one of a growing list of individuals convicted in the Houston-based City Nursing health care fraud conspiracy. Floyd Leslie Brooks, 45, of Houston, pleaded guilty earlier this month. The owner of City Nursing, Umawa Oke Imo, was convicted in May 2011 and sentenced to more than 27 years in federal prison for his role in the health care fraud conspiracy which included making cash payments to both Medicare beneficiaries and recruiters bringing Medicare beneficiaries to City Nursing.
Frank was permitted to remain on bond pending her sentencing hearing, set for September 14, 2012. At that time, she faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
This case has been investigated by the FBI, Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigations, the Department of Health and Human Services-Office of Inspector General and the Texas Attorney General’s Office-Medicare Fraud Control Unit. Assistant United States Attorney Julie Redlinger is prosecuting the case.