Columbus Doctor Sentenced for Health Care Fraud
|U.S. Attorney’s Office December 29, 2010|
COLUMBUS, OH—Dr. Charles C. Njoku, 60, of Powell, was sentenced in United States District Court to one year and one day in prison for billing government health care insurance programs for services that were not provided as billed. He was also ordered to repay the government $131,793.91 in restitution to Medicaid and Medicare, the state and federal health care programs affected by his actions.
Carter M. Stewart, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray, Keith L. Bennett, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Cincinnati Division (FBI), and Lamont Pugh III, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS), announced the sentence handed down today by U.S. District Judge Algenon L. Marbley.
Njoku pled guilty on September 28, 2010 to one count of health care fraud and one count of illegal distribution of a controlled substance.
Njoku had offices in Columbus and Akron and billed public health care programs under his own name and People’s Family Medical Center.
According to a statement of facts read during his plea hearing, between August 1, 2008 and March 1, 2009, Njoku billed Medicaid and Medicare for office visits that were not delivered as billed, including office visits billed to the program while Njoku was out of the country. Njoku gave his office manager, Veronica Scott-Guiler, pre-signed prescription pads and allowed her to write and issue prescriptions to patients for narcotics and other medications while he was out of the country. Njoku also allowed Scott-Guiler to see patients at his office then claiming that he had seen the patients when he submitted bills to the programs.
Scott-Guiler, 41, of Orient, pleaded guilty to one count of health care fraud and was sentenced to three years probation including serving the first 12 months on home confinement. She was also ordered to share the burden of restitution.
Stewart commended the investigation which was by the Health Care Fraud Task Force, Assistant U.S. Attorney Kenneth Affeldt, and Special Assistant U. S. Attorney Constance A. Nearhood with Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray’s Office, who prosecuted the case.