Saturday, May 25, 2024

Fraudster fugitive from Flower Mound found by feds

A Flower Mound woman convicted of healthcare fraud was recently extradited back to the United States, a dozen years after she failed to self-surrender to federal prison.

Florence Onyegbu , then 51, was sentenced on Feb. 14, 2011 to 46 months in prison after she pleaded guilty to one count of offer and payment of illegal remuneration in relation to her home health company, De-Promise Home Health Services, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas’ office.

Onyegbu admitted that from January 2008 to July 2010, she paid between approximately $100 to $200 per month to multiple beneficiaries in exchange for their Medicare information, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. She used the patients’ information to falsely bill Medicare approximately $1.8 million for purported home health services, including skilled nursing services, physical therapy, speech-language pathology services, and occupational therapy.

Onyegbu, who lived in Flower Mound at the time, admitted that these patients neither qualified for nor needed the treatment. Her false claims to Medicare resulted in payments totaling more than $1.3 million to De-Promise Home Health Services. In addition to the prison sentence, Onyegbu was also ordered to pay $1.3 million in restitution.

After the sentencing, Onyegbu was ordered to self-surrender to the Bureau of Prisons by April 4, 2011, but she allegedly failed to do so and was on the run for about 11 years. On Feb. 22, 2022, the Nigerian Economic and Financial Crimes Commission arrested Onyegbu in Lagos, Nigeria, at the request of the U.S., according to the  U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas. After court proceedings in Nigeria, she was extradited to the U.S. and arrived in Texas a couple weeks ago.

Onyegbu, now 64, appeared in federal court on March 24 and was charged with failure to surrender for service of sentence, according to the DOJ, and if convicted, she faces five years in prison for this charge.

Mark Smith
Mark Smith
Mark Smith is the Digital Editor of The Cross Timbers Gazette.

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