Healthcare fraud suspect to be extradited

May 29, 2012 at 11:22 AM

LAGOS, Nigeria, May 29 (UPI) -- A Nigerian court ordered a 54-year-old man extradited to the United States to face criminal charges linked to an alleged $30 million healthcare benefit fraud.

The federal High Court in Lagos granted the request by the attorney general of the federation for the extradition of Godwin Chiedo Nzeocha, the Guardian of Lagos, Nigeria, reported.

Nzeocha, who worked with City Nursing Services in Houston as a physical therapist aide between 2007 and 2009, allegedly conspired with others and submitted claims to Medicare and Medicaid on behalf of patients, authorities said.

Nzeocha and his accomplices were paid $30 million, but did not turn over the funds to the beneficiaries, authorities said.

Nzeocha, who was scheduled to be tried in U.S. District Court in Houston in October 2009, fled to Nigeria, The Guardian reported.

He was arrested in June 2011 by Nigeria's Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

High Court Justice John Tsoho ordered Nzeocha be extradited to the United States for trial within a month.

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