Texas patient recruiter gets prison time for role in $20M Medicare fraud scheme

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A patient recruiter for several Houston-area home health agencies was sentenced May 29 to more than 15 years in prison for her role in a $20 million fraud scheme that involved paying illegal kickbacks to physicians and submitting fraudulent claims to Medicare, according to the Department of Justice.

The sentencing came after Egondu "Kate" Koko pleaded guilty in October to one count of conspiracy to pay and receive healthcare kickbacks and one count of conspiracy to launder monetary instruments.

As part of her guilty plea, Ms. Koko admitted paying kickbacks and bribes to physicians and patients for paperwork home health agencies used to submit fraudulent claims to Medicare for unnecessary home health services. She also admitted to committing money laundering.

In addition to the prison term, Ms. Koko was ordered to pay $12.9 million in restitution and to forfeit nearly $1.4 million.

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