Three More Arrested in $12 Million Health Care Fraud Conspiracy
HOUSTON—Three more Houston residents, including a man who was practicing medicine without a license, have been arrested on wide-ranging charges involving a $12 million conspiracy to commit health care fraud and to pay kickbacks to patients, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson.
Bompa Mbokosa Mompiere, 56, Ann Marie Rocha, 48, and Eddie Wayne Taylor, 56, are charged in a 30-count superseding indictment with conspiracy to commit health care fraud. Taylor is additionally charged with health care fraud. They were all taken into custody today. They all appeared this morning before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mary Milloy. Mompiere and Taylor will be in court again today at 2:00 p.m. to complete the initial proceedings.
The original 25-count indictment charged Mktrich “Mike” Yepremian, 58, Dr. Harding Ross, 61, Dr. Faiz Ahmed, 63, Jermaine Doleman, 38, Michael Wayne Wilson, 46, and Eric Johnson, 61. They were arrested in July 2015 in conjunction with a search warrant executed at a downtown office building where several clinics and a blood testing laboratory were located. With the exception of Doleman who is in custody on unrelated health care fraud charges, all were released upon posting bond.
Yepremian was the owner and operator of the clinics and lab. The indictment alleges Yepremian paid Doleman, Wilson, Johnson and Taylor to bring Medicare and Medicaid patients to his clinics so they could be billed for multiple, medically unnecessary diagnostic tests and for unnecessary blood tests. In turn, the patients were allegedly paid by Yepremian, Doleman, Wilson, Johnson and Taylor to attend the clinics.
The indictment alleges this scheme began in 2006 and involved clinics that were held in the names of “straw owners,” although Yepremian controlled all funds from the false billing. The clinics were named Crawford Medical Services, Mid City Healthcare, Care Family Practice, Arca Medical Clinic, while the lab was named Empire Clinical Laboratory.
Yepremian is additionally charged with two additional money laundering counts for allegedly funneling money to relatives. The superseding indictment seeks to forfeit a Houston home purchased in the name of one of Yepremian’s relatives.
The statutory maximum penalty for conspiracy, money laundering or health care fraud is up to 10 years in prison as well as a maximum $250,000 fine, while a conviction for a violation of the anti-kickback statute could result in a five-year maximum term of imprisonment.
The charges are the result of the investigative efforts of the Texas Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, FBI and the Department of Health and Human Services—Office of Inspector General, Office of Investigations. Special Assistant United States Attorney Suzanne Bradley and Assistant United States Attorney Tina Ansari are prosecuting the case.
An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence.
A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.