Federal Jury Finds Houston Man Guilty in $6M Bribery Scheme

Federal Jury Finds Houston Man Guilty in $6M Bribery Scheme

A federal jury has convicted a 54-year-old man on charges of conspiracy to pay and receive health care kickbacks, along with two counts of paying kickbacks to marketers. The verdict was announced by U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani.

The jury reached its decision after deliberating for an hour following a three-day trial. Ifeanyi Ozoh was found guilty on all counts as charged. Ozoh had been employed at Floss Family Dentalcare Center, a local dental clinic, from January 2020 to February 2021.

During the trial, evidence presented to the jury revealed that Ozoh paid marketers between $20 and $100 for each Medicaid-insured child they referred to Floss. Testimony indicated that these payments were made discreetly, often in cash and out of sight of other witnesses, with some payments placed on top of a vending machine away from the clinic.

One of the clinic managers testified that she had repeatedly warned Ozoh about the illegality of paying marketers for referrals.

The jury also learned that Ozoh distributed over $163,000 in bribes to marketers and received bonuses based on the number of patients he referred. Floss Family Dentalcare Center billed Medicaid for over $6 million from 2020 to 2021, of which they received over $4 million. Much of this revenue was linked to kickbacks paid to marketers and for dental services that were never rendered.

A representative confirmed during the trial that Medicaid regulations expressly prohibit the payment of kickbacks for referrals of medical services.

Despite the defense’s argument that Ozoh was unaware of the illegality of his actions and merely a “handyman” at the clinic, the jury found him guilty as charged.

U.S. District Chief Judge Randy Crane presided over the trial and has scheduled sentencing for May 21. Ozoh could face up to 25 years in federal prison and a maximum fine of $250,000.

The investigation was conducted jointly by the FBI, the Texas Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, and the Department of Health and Human Services – Office of Inspector General.