Owner and Associates of Euless Healthcare Corporation Arrested on Conspiracy and Health Care Fraud Charges
Defendants Allegedly Submitted More than $700,000 in Fraudulent Claims
|U.S. Attorney’s Office November 15, 2011|
DALLAS—Three defendants who have been charged in a federal indictment, unsealed today, with various offenses related to their involvement in the operation of Euless Healthcare Corporation, were arrested this morning by special agents with the FBI and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services-Office of the Inspector General, announced U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas.
Ovsanna Agopian, aka “Joanna Ovsanna,” “Joanna Smbatyan,” and “Ovsanna Agopian,” Boghos Babadjanian and Tolulope Labeodan were arrested in Houston, Los Angeles, and Dallas, respectively. They will make their initial appearances before a U.S. Magistrate Judge in Dallas in the near future. The 10-count indictment charges each defendant with one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and nine substantive counts of health care fraud.
According to the indictment, Agopian was the principal operator of Euless Healthcare Corporation (EHC), located at 222 West Bedford Euless Road in Hurst. Babadjanian was the owner of EHC and Labeodan was an employee of EHC. The indictment alleges that the three defendants ran a conspiracy to defraud Medicare by submitting claims for office visits and diagnostic tests that were never performed.
The indictment further alleges that Agopian recruited doctors to work for EHC by telling them that they would treat beneficiaries in the beneficiaries’ homes. However, the doctors that Agopian recruited never saw beneficiaries at the EHC clinic or beneficiaries’ homes. Agopian directed Labeodan, who is not a medical professional and does not have a Medicare provider number, to take beneficiary files from the EHC clinic and purportedly see beneficiaries. However, many beneficiaries, in whose names EHC submitted claims for reimbursement, have never heard of EHC or any of the doctors Agopian recruited. EHC used those doctors’ Medicare provider numbers to bill Medicare for office visits and diagnostic tests. The Medicare reimbursement checks were deposited into Babadjanian’s bank account.
In total, EHC fraudulently billed Medicare more than $700,000 and was paid more than $370,000.
An indictment is an accusation by a federal grand jury, and a defendant is entitled to the presumption of innocence unless proven guilty. If convicted, however, the conspiracy to commit health care fraud count and the nine substantive health care fraud counts each carry a maximum statutory sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The indictment also includes a forfeiture allegation that would require the defendants, if convicted, to forfeit proceeds traceable to their offenses.
The case is being investigated by the Dallas Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team (HEAT) Strike Force, which includes the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services-Office of Inspector General, the FBI and the Texas Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. To learn more about the HEAT Strike Force, please visit: http://stopmedicarefraud.gov
Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael McCarthy is in charge of the prosecution.