Samuel Okere to pay more than $140,000 in restitution
OKLAHOMA CITY – Attorney General Mike Hunter and acting U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma Robert J. Troester announced an Oklahoma City behavioral health counselor has pleaded guilty to Medicaid fraud.
At sentencing later this year, Samuel Okere, 61, of Oklahoma City, faces up to of 10 years in federal prison, followed by three years’ probation and up to $250,000 in fines after a federal grand jury charged him with 224 counts of Medicaid fraud last November.
Okere is required to pay $141,545.16 in restitution to the agencies he was accused of defrauding.
Attorney General Hunter said the continued cooperation between state and federal agencies is necessary to curb fraud and corruption.
“I appreciate U.S. Attorney Troester and his office for their assistance in helping us reach this successful outcome,” Attorney General Hunter said. “Health care fraud harms defenseless citizens who rely on essential services as well as taxpayers, who fund these programs. I am glad we could work together on this case to hold Okere accountable for his actions.”
The initial investigation by the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Oklahoma found Okere defrauded the Oklahoma Health Care Authority through false claims for behavioral health counseling while he was a licensed professional counselor and owner of New Life Counseling Services.
He was accused of billing for counseling sessions for multiple individuals, primarily children, at times conflicting with his clients’ schedule or whereabouts.
“Our partnership with the Attorney General’s Office is strong and effective in combatting health care fraud in Oklahoma,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Troester.
To read Okere's plea agreement, click here.
To read the November indictment, click here.