FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 7, 2000
Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr., announced today that a Montgomery County physician, owner of Optimum Care Medical Center, LLC, and three other individuals have been indicted for conspiring to commit Medicaid Fraud and related tax and unlicenced practice violations.
A. Stella Udeozor, M.D. 14426 Seneca Road, Darnestown, Maryland, is alleged to have conspired with her husband, George Chiudeozor, Mr. Ahmad Alvi and Mr. Theodros Dagnew, to commit Medicaid Fraud from January 1995 to November 1999. The indictment alleges that Dr. Udeozor employed unlicenced individuals to practice medicine and perform physical therapy at her facilities. In addition, the indictment alleges that Dr. Udeozor billed for services not performed and billed for services performed by unlicenced individuals. It is also alleged that Dr. Udeozor did not report the income her company paid to the unlicenced persons to the appropriate authorities. In addition, Dr. Udeozor is charged with understating her income on her Maryland tax returns for the years 1996 through 1998.
In addition to the conspiracy count, Alvi and Dagnew are also charged with practicing medicine without a license, writing prescriptions for patients, misrepresenting themselves as doctors and practicing as physician's assistants without a license. In his eight-count indictment, Mr. Dagnew is also charged with failing to file tax returns for the years 1996 through 1998. Mr. Alvi's eight-count indictment also charges him with failing to file tax returns for the years 1996 and 1997, and felony theft.
Mr. Chiudeozor is charged in the conspiracy and for tax perjury for the tax year 1996, and for failing to file a tax return for tax year 1997. Dr. Udeozor and Mr. Alvi were arrested on March 31, 2000. Mr. Dagnew surrendered himself on April 4, 2000. Mr. Chiudeozor has not yet been located.
The case is being prosecuted by the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit of the Maryland Attorney General's Office. A statement of charges is only an accusation and all persons are presumed innocent unless proven guilty. A charge of Medicaid Fraud occurring prior to October 1, 1997, is punishable by a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine and thereafter is punishable by a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $100,000 fine. A conspiracy to commit these offenses carries the same penalty as the offense itself. Failure to file a tax return carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and/or a $5,000 fine. A charge of tax perjury carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison. Practicing medicine without a license, a physician's assistant practicing medicine without a license and misrepresenting oneself as a physician each carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison and/or a $5,000 fine. A charge of theft in excess of $300 is punishable by a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison and a $1,000 fine