Husband and Wife Convicted in Multi-Million-Dollar Health Care Fraud Scheme
HOUSTON—William Owuama, 55, and Marla Owuama, 47, of Houston, have entered guilty pleas to charges related to a healthcare fraud scheme in which they billed Medicare for more than $9 million, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson.
William Owuama was the owner of Wilmar Healthcare Systems and his wife was a registered nurse who helped run the clinic. William Owuama violated the anti-kickback statute by paying Medicare beneficiaries for visiting the clinic. He also billed Medicare and Medicaid for vestibular testing that was never performed and billed under the provider number of a local doctor while that doctor was incarcerated on unrelated charges. From January 2006 through October 2009, Medicare and Medicaid paid Wilmar Owuama more than $4 million based on the fraudulent claims.
William Owuama pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud and violate the anti-kickback statute. He faces up to five years in prison and a possible $250,000 fine. Marla Owuama was convicted of misprision of a felony for helping to conceal the crime and faces up to three years in prison and the same fine. The couple has agreed to pay restitution to Medicare and Medicaid as a part of their plea agreements.
They are set for sentencing April 21, 2015, before U.S. District Judge Nancy F. Atlas.
The investigation leading to the charges in this case was conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services—Office of Inspector General, FBI and the Texas Attorney General’s Office Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Andrew Leuchtmann, John Pearson and Adrienne Frazior prosecuted the case.