Former owner of home health firm extradited to US to serve 80 years in prison

The Republic of Cameroon extradited Ebong Aloysius Tilong, the owner of a home health company, to Houston to serve an 80-year prison sentence for a Medicare fraud scheme and filing false tax returns, according to a Dec. 13 Justice Department press release.

Mr. Tilong received his 80-year sentence in 2017. In 2016, he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud, conspiracy to pay and receive healthcare kickbacks, conspiracy to launder monetary instruments, healthcare fraud, and payment and receipt of healthcare kickbacks. He pleaded guilty to filing fraudulent tax returns in 2017.

Court documents showed that between 2006 and 2015, Mr. Tilong, his wife and their co-conspirators used Houston-based Fiango Home Healthcare to receive $13 million from Medicare for services that were unnecessary and their patients did not receive.

Mr. Tilong also created a shell company called Quality Therapy Services to hide the Medicare fraud scheme and limit the amount of tax he paid to the IRS. He wrote $1 million in checks from Fiango to Quality Therapy Services, the Justice Department said.

On the morning of Mr. Tilong's sentencing hearing in 2017, he removed his ankle bracelet and escaped. He received his sentence while he was absent. Later, he was located in Cameroon, according to the Justice Department.

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