Okey F. Nwagbara, 45, was naturalized in 2008, was the owner/operator of Advanced MedEquip & Supplies Ltd., a durable medical equipment (DME) business in Richardson, Texas. This indictment was announced by U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas.
Nwagbara, who is in federal custody, has also been indicted in a health care fraud case with co-defendant, Jerry C. Bullard, 55, of Mesquite, Texas. The felony charges relate to a scheme they ran that allegedly defrauded Medicare of more than $500,000. Bullard is a former employee of Medistat Group Associates P.A., an association of health care providers located in DeSoto, Texas. Trial is set for March 5, 2012 in this case.
"This indictment is a direct result of excellent investigative work by our Dallas Health Care Fraud Strike Force, which, in concert with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations, and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, uncovered Nwagbara's fraudulent actions to obtain citizenship," said U.S. Attorney Saldaña.
Specifically, this indictment charges Nwagbara with three counts of making a false statement in an immigration document and three counts of unlawfully procuring his naturalization. If convicted, each count carries a maximum statutory sentence of 10 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine. Furthermore, should Nwagbara be convicted of unlawfully procuring his naturalization, his status as a U.S. citizen will be revoked by court order.
The indictment alleges that Nwagbara entered into a fraudulent marriage and provided false statements to obtain citizenship. On Jan. 30, 2008, he made false statements on his application for naturalization that included:
1) verifying that he was married to and living with the same U.S. citizen for the last three years, when he was not living with his U.S. citizen spouse;
2) indicating that he had no children, when in fact he had two children; and
3) indicating that he had never previously claimed to be a U.S. citizen, when in fact, he falsely stated on a mortgage application in January 2006 that he was a U.S. citizen.
An indictment is an accusation by a federal grand jury, and a defendant is entitled to the presumption of innocence unless proven guilty.
This immigration case is being investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Identity and Benefit Fraud Group, and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
The health care fraud case is being investigated by the Dallas Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team (HEAT) Strike Force, which includes the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – Office of Inspector General, the FBI and the Texas Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. Learn more about the HEAT Strike Force.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael Elliott and Mindy Sauter, Northern District of Texas, are prosecuting.