West U. Doctor Also Charged For Medicare Fraud

March 31, 2010

Dr. Christina Clardy, a doctor who lives in West University Place who is accused of participating in a “pill mill” operation, now also faces charges of attempting to defraud Medicare and Medicaid of $45 million in false claims.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation yesterday announced an arrest warrant has been issued for Clardy for conspiracy to commit health care fraud, health care fraud, and mail fraud. The agency expects the doctor to turn herself in today. Clardy lives in a $1.5 million house in the 6600 block of Sewanee Avenue in West U.

The charges stem from ongoing fraud investigation into City Nursing Services of Texas Inc. over allegations that the Houston company billed Medicare and Medicaid for approximately $45 million worth of services between January 2007 and June 2009.

According to an FBI statement, the majority of the charges were for physical therapy services despite the fact that the clinic allegedly did not employ any licensed physical therapists or physical therapy assistants and neither Clardy nor Dr. Thaddeus Hume, who was named in the previous indictment, provided or supervised any physical therapy.

The indictment further alleges that recruiters and marketers were paid for bringing patients to the clinic and patients were paid for going to the clinic and signing documents for physical therapy services that were not rendered. City Nursing was paid approximately $30 million by Medicare and Medicaid for the claims submitted.

The owner of the clinic, resident alien Umawa Oke Imo, 54, of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, also faces new charges now and for previous charges he has been in federal custody without bond since June 26, 2009. Joann White, 45, a former employee of the clinic, entered a plea of guilty on Feb. 12, 2010, to conspiracy to commit health care fraud as alleged in the previously filed indictment and is awaiting sentencing.

The possible punishment upon conviction for health care fraud, conspiracy to commit health care fraud, and money laundering is up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Mail fraud carries a possible punishment of up to 20 years in prison upon conviction. Structuring, as charged in the indictment, carries a possible punishment of up to 10 years in prison and a $500,000 fine.

About two weeks ago, Clardy was charged with engaging in organized criminal activity for allegedly helping run two pain management clinics accused of dealing out prescription drugs. Read more here.

InstantNewsWestu Staff

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