Defendants Used Money to Finance a Lavish Lifestyle:
The justice department in the district of Columbia, USA has passed prison sentence to two Cameroonians who owned the Global Healthcare, Inc., a home care agency. They were sentenced was made known through a publication on the Justice Department website on Wednesday, 1st June 2016. They were sentenced for health care fraud, money laundering, and other charges stemming from a scheme in which they and others defrauded the District of Columbia Medicaid program of over $80 million. The two Cameroonians are Florence Bikundi and her husband, Michael D. Bikundi, Sr.
Florence Bikundi was sentenced to 10 years in prison and Michael D. Bikundi, Sr. to seven years in prison. Following their prison terms, the Bikundis will be placed on three years of supervised release. The Judge who sentenced them ordered them to forfeit over $11 million seized from 76 bank accounts; their residence, worth approximately $1 million; $73,000 in cash seized from their residence, and five luxury vehicles with a total purchase price of more than $400,000.
The judge in his ruling said “The Bikundis funded their lavish lifestyle by defrauding the District of Columbia’s Medicaid program designed to provide for those in need”. It’s outrageous that fraudster couple Florence and Michael Bikundi stole millions of Medicaid funds meant to provide home health services to vulnerable patients just to fuel their own lavish lifestyle,” said Special Agent in Charge DiGiulio of the HHS Office of Inspector General”
The justice department wrote ” Florence Bikundi, 53, also known as Florence Ngwe and Florence Igwacho, has been in custody since her arrest in February 2014. She was found guilty by the jury of 12 charges: one count of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud; one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, two counts of health care fraud; one count of Medicaid fraud; and seven counts of money laundering. Michael D. Bikundi, Sr., 63, was found guilty of 10 charges: one count of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud; one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, one count of health care fraud; and seven counts of money laundering..”
According to evidence presented at trial, Florence Bikundi, a former nurse, and her husband owned Global Healthcare, Inc. According to the government’s evidence, Florence Bikundi was not entitled to take part in the Medicaid program and fraudulently got approval as a provider. Then, the government’s evidence showed, she and her husband led a scheme to bill Medicaid for services that were not fully provided – recruiting others, including family members, into the scam, and creating fraudulent paperwork to hide the illegal activity.
It was revealed that from August 2009 through February 2014, Florence and Michael Bikundi used Global HealthCare to carry out a massive fraud, the government’s evidence showed. According to the government’s evidence, the Bikundis used the proceeds to finance a lavish lifestyle. In just over three years, they spent $1.3 million to purchase and renovate a newly built home. They also used the proceeds for a $140,000 Land Rover, a $120,000 Porsche, a $75,000 Mercedes Benz, a $70,000 Cadillac and a $36,000 BMW.
Seven others earlier pled guilty to charges in the investigation. They include Florence Bikundi’s son, Carlson M. Igwacho, 35, of Bowie, Md.; Florence Bikundi’s two sisters, Irene M. Igwacho, 50, of Bowie, Md., and Berenice W. Igwacho, 31, of Bowie, Md.; James Mbide, 55, of Laurel, Md; Nicola C. White, 34, of Laurel, Md.; Elvis N. Atabe, 57, of Adelphia Md., and Melissa A. Williams, 33, of Silver Spring, Md.
BaretaNews holds that Cameroonians should do everything in their power to avoid fraud and scandals of this nature. It touches on the very integrity of the nation. It is our hope that Cameroonians learn from this case and stop from any scarm related activities.
God is still saying something.