Gwinnett Couple Pleads Guilty to Stealing $1.4 Million from Georgia Medicaid
On March 6, 2015, Olufemi Afuape and Oluyemisi Afuape of Lilburn, Ga., pled guilty to one count of Medicaid Fraud (O.C.G.A. § 49-4-146.1(b)(1)) and one count of Conspiracy to Defraud the State (O.C.G.A. § 16-10-21(a)). Oluyemisi Afuape was sentenced to three years house arrest, followed by 12 years of probation. Olufemi Afuape was sentenced to three years work release at the Gwinnett Detention Center, followed by 12 years of probation. They were ordered to pay $1,407,325.50 in restitution to the Georgia Department of Community Health.
Oluyemisi Afuape was a physical therapist enrolled in the Georgia Medicaid program. Together, she and her husband, Olufemi Afuape, opened a business called Zion Rehab Services. In order to attract low income children into the program, they advertised free day care and free summer camp programs under a ruse they called “Give Mom a Break.” Recruiting patients into a program or a medical practice of any kind is not permitted in Georgia Medicaid.
Once the children were enrolled, the Afuapes billed the children’s Medicaid numbers for physical, occupational and speech therapy without regard to whether the services were medically necessary and without regard to whether the services were actually delivered. Children genuinely in need of therapy did not receive services and children who did not require therapy services nevertheless had their Medicaid numbers billed for therapy on a daily basis. Using this scheme, the Afuapes submitted fraudulent claims to the Medicaid program over a period of years and were paid $1.4 million.
“The Afuapes shamelessly took advantage of low income families to scam Georgia Medicaid and line their own pockets,” said Attorney General Sam Olens. “My office is devoted to weeding out Medicaid fraud and holding those accountable who choose to exploit Georgia Medicaid dollars.”
The case was prosecuted on behalf of the state by Senior Assistant Attorney General Nancy Allstrom and Assistant Attorney General Robin Daitch. The case was investigated by Investigator Shakethia Morgan, Investigative Auditor Rob Jones, Nurse Investigator Beth Ann Teague and Criminal Analyst Tish Murray, all of the Georgia Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, a division of the Office of the Attorney General. Investigator Ike Brackins initiated the original investigation on behalf of the Georgia Department of Community Health.