14 Chicago-area residents charged in Medicare fraud cases

February 17, 2011 4:49:21 PM PST
A Chicago doctor and pharmacist- as well as several others involved locally in the industry- were charged in connection with federal health care fraud cases.

Arrest warrants were executed for 10 of the 14 Chicago men and women indicted in eight separate, unrelated health care fraud cases as part of a national takedown by Medicare Fraud Strike Force operations. As many as 111 defendants nationwide were charged for alleged participation in Medicare fraud schemes.

"With this takedown, we have identified and shut down large-scale fraud schemes operating throughout the country. We have safeguarded precious taxpayer dollars. And we have helped to protect our nation's most essential health care programs, Medicare and Medicaid," said Attorney General Holder. "As today's arrest prove, we are waging an aggressive fight against health care fraud."

The Chicago-area defendants were each charged with one or more counts of health care fraud, mail fraud, false statements relating to health care matters, and/or conspiracy.

    The accused are:
  • Virgilio Orillo and Mergigrace Orillo, who co-own and operate Chalice Home Healthcare Serivces, Inc., with offices in Chicago, Freeport, and Morris, Ill. They are accused of falsifying documents to increase Medicare payments and face three counts of health care fraud.
  • Marilyn Maravilla, 54, of Chicago; Junjee Arroya, 42, of Elmhurst; Ferdinand Echavia, 37, of Chicago; Kennedy Lomillo, 43, of Mundelien; and Baltazar Alberto, 47, of Morton Grove; are associated with Goodwill Home Healthcare, Inc. They are accused of receiving kickbacks for the referral of Medicare patients for home health care services.
  • Alona Dizon Bugayong, 35, of Lincolnwood; and Han Woo, 35, of Hoffman Estates; are charged with one count of conspiring to pay kickbacks for the referral of patients to home health care agencies run by Han Woo, who operates New Covenant Home Health Agency LLC and Healthquest Homecare LLC.
  • Dr. Jaswinder Rai Chhibber, 48, of Schaumburg, is the president and owner of the Cottage Grove Community Medical Clinic in Chicago. Chhibber is charged with one count of health care fraud. Chhibber allegedly submitted medical services reimbursement claims for procedures that were never done to Medicare, Medicaid and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois.
  • Jay Hammerman, 62, of Chicago, a pharmacist and the owner of Jay's Save Rite Thorndale Pharmacy, is charged with two counts of health care fraud. He is accused of scheming to defraud health care insurance providers, including Medicare and Medicaid by submitting fraudulent reimbursement claims for prescription medications that were never actually dispensed.
  • Brandy Howard, 35, of Naperville, a licensed chiropractor, is charged with two counts of health care fraud, three counts of mail fraud, and two counts of false statements relating to health care matters. Howard allegedly submitted false claims to Blue Cross Blue Shield for orthotics.
  • Dr. Andrew Carr, 41, of Lake in the Hills, a licensed chiropractor, is charged with one count of health care fraud for allegedly submitting claims for chiropractic services that were never rendered.
  • U.S. Occupational Health, a medical services company that performs physical examinations and medical testing for employees of private and governmental entities, is charged with one count of mail fraud. The City of Chicago used USOH to perform physical examinations and medical testing on applicants and employees of various departments, including the Chicago Police Department and the Chicago Fire Department. U.S. Occupational Health allegedly falsely represented results of tests that had not been reviewed by board-certified specialists as required.