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Nine people charged in Medicaid fraud case involving Virginia home health agency

Crystal Graham
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(© francescosgura – stock.adobe.com)

A 2023 indictment has been unsealed following the arrest and initial court appearances of nine defendants charged with healthcare fraud conspiracy, money laundering and obstruction of justice.

The indictment was returned by a federal grand jury in Roanoke.

The defendants include three Virginia residents and six Maryland residents who were owners or employed by 1st Adult Pediatrics Healthcare Services, a Medicaid-enrolled home health agency which provided private duty nursing, personal care and respite care services.

According to court documents, Carolyn Bryant-Taylor, 59, of Clinton, Md.; Kafomdi “Josephine” Okocha, 48, of Upper Marlboro, Md.; Samuel Okocha, 50, of Upper Marlboro, Md.; Shekita Gore, a.k.a. Shekita Steele, 38, of Clinton, Md.; Berthe Feuzeu, a.k.a. Berthe Djuni, 48, of Manassas Park; Anthony Kanu, 57, of Bladensburg, Md.; Elizabeth Ilome, 41, of Stafford; Eno Utuk, 47, of Stafford; and Rhabiatu Kamara, 45, of Fort Washington, Md., are all charged with conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud.

Bryant-Taylor, Josephine Okocha, Samuel Okocha and Gore are also charged with one count of health care fraud.

Bryant-Taylor is charged with two counts of obstruction of justice and one count of money laundering.

Josephine Okocha is charged with three counts of money laundering.

According to the indictment, Bryant-Taylor, Josephine Okocha, Samuel Okocha and Gore are owners and operators of the healthcare service. Feuzeu, Kanu, Utuk and Kamara were employed by 1st Adult as nurses and Ilome as a medication technician.

The defendants are alleged to have conspired to submit false claims to Medicaid for services that were not provided to patients, including falsifying records and documentation in support of the fraudulent claims submitted for reimbursement.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Virginia Attorney General’s Medicaid fraud control unit are investigating the case.

This Northern Virginia service company has faced numerous allegations dating back to 2017 for improper business practices.

In 2023, the Fairfax-based company agreed to a $3 million settlement against similar allegations, according to documents from the Department of Justice.

The company was also ordered by a court in 2023 to pay $1.6 million in back wages to more than 200 workers who were denied overtime – and was fined $48,000 in penalties related to the violations.

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.