Sunday, March 23, 2014

IS Florence Igwacho Money Madam Or Medicaid Fraud Queen?


Florence Ngwe Igwacho's home.
On February 9, 2014, The FBI released information about more than 20 people who were arrested following investigations into widespread fraud in the DC Medicaid program. This scam was popular in DC that even nurses, I mean nurses were boasting of millions and 7 figures in yearly incomes. The news went viral in the Cameroonian community because the majority of those arrested were not just from Cameroon but from one province: the North West Province. People from the North West province are known for their garrulous sanctimony. Surprisingly, on that day, they were all deaf and dumb. Despite the people originating from mostly one province, their actions transcend the province, country and continent. There are immediately two camps. Those who believe that Florence Igwacho was right purloining the system, and those who think that she was wrong pilfering from the very system set up to help everyone, especially the sick and dying. This writer belongs to the group that believes that no matter how many people she helped, fraud is fraud; it does not become virtue simple because the perpetrator became a Good Samaritan. People like the writer who constantly writes on these community vices are considered jealous. Some swamp dwellers (those who left their villages directly to Europe or America) take ghost names through which they spew out inconsequential tintinnabulations about the truth speakers.

Actually, it is not the first time that Cameroonians are operating in groups to defraud the Americans. A few years back, they orchestrated one of the highest bank heists. In 2012, the government broke a ring of RN and LPNs selling exam questions and even writing for each other. They have perfected the black paper money scam that the scamers are like heroes. It was the same thing with  sham marriages and marriages for hire (but they did not outdo the Ghanaians though) until it began catching up with everyone. May this send a warning shot to those in the pharmacy industry who are diluting medicine and selling expired medications or opening private pharmacies at home of samples and expired medications they got from the US.

You know something was wrong when a mere nurse is throwing money left and right, building duplexes and mansions, buying luxury vehicles at home and abroad and donating huge amounts of money to support charities. Their presence in every party, meeting or beer parlor turns the floors green with dollars. They quickly rip titles like Madam Dollar, Mama Million or Money Madam (in the case of Florence Igwacho). The society extols the purloiners by creating a pedestal on which they place these swindlers atop everyone else. He or she becomes "l'enfant cheri" of the community. Whoever touches him/her, touches the apple of the eye of the community, especially those who benefit from their thievery. Those who support their acts boast and ask you how many houses you have built, or how many bank accounts you own. No wonder Florence Igwacho, nicknamed Flo Diamond had 45 bank accounts, three names and three companies. It is alleged that the Cameroon Embassy in the US helped her to transfer her funds.

The FBI indictment is very simple: “she overbilled the government and at times billed for services that were not even provided”, used proxies and middle people to “recruit false patients”, “knowingly altering claim forms”, etc.

Florence Igwacho knew that by virtue of her being convicted in an earlier healthcare felony, and her license suspended, this law (18 U.S.C. Section 1347) prohibited her from continuing in that business. As it is common with crooks, she changed names to avert detection since she was already banned and prohibited from doing business with the name Florence Igwacho. At this time, she created the name Florence Bikundi and also Florence Ngwe. Her brother: Eric Igwacho once argued that she changed names because she got married (Camnet mail # 332102 o,f Feb 21, 2014). That would have been Florence Bikundi. When did she then start to use Ngwe as her last name? Eric also argued that she was unaware that her license was suspended because she did not receive any notifications. How could she serve imprisonment in 2003 and be unaware that she had been banned from healthcare? How did she answer the questions during the application, “have you ever been convicted of a felony, or has your license ever been suspended?” If she answered “yes”, she would not have had a license to operate, even under Florence Bekundi or Florence Ngwe. Notwithstanding, we cannot just blame Florence Igwacho and leave the authorities of Maryland as innocent.

How did all these institutions like (CPI, OIG, HEAT & GSA) created to safeguard and protect the integrity and successful functioning of the healthcare programs miss this scam that was well known in the Cameroonian community? There is only one answer to that as stated in the bible, " Thou shalt not wrest judgment; thou shalt not respect persons, neither take a gift: for a gift doth blind the eyes of the wise, and pervert the words of the righteous (Deut 16:19, Exodus 23:8; Eccl 20:29; Prov. 17:8).” They were so blinded by gifts that they allowed the scam to go on for so many years with impunity.

What surprises me is how immigrants think. This behavior is not different from illegal immigrants who want to turn the country into the same hellhole they were escaping. It will be unjust for anyone to sit quiet simply because she is a Cameroonian and that she had sent a lot of money home to help kids and orphans. At the same time that she was sending money home, she was robbing the American kids (I mean every kid born here) of their future. If things like this keep going without detection, most of our kids will not even have the MEDICARE/ MEDICAID program, no matter the good intentions of the government because there will just not be any money anymore. If a broken system is so good, she should have gone to North Korea or even stayed back in Cameroon or Nigeria. Why does she come here to ruin a system others risk their lives to visit?
Do you know how you guys used to boast that, " you only need to buy the patient a KFC bucket of chicken, and he or she will sign your hours and you do not need to show up?" Now is the time to boast well. Look, my country people, 99 days for the thief but one day for the owner. Most of you remember that most LPNs have three jobs and they don't even show up regularly in two of them. They show up sporadically with a bucket of KFC chicken. These Americans themselves too have a problem; you eat chicken and sign someone's timesheet that they have treated you for the entire month. What type of human beings are you? Greed and gullibility are making Americans look very stupid, every day to the outside world.
Africans will soon say that the government is targeting them. Do not listen to any of that in a one size fits all prejudice; there is no one size fits all adjudication here. You should read the FBI affidavits announcing new charges. As I pointed out in this article, the actions of these people will rightfully have a repercussion beyond just provincial lines. When I read healthcare workers claiming that the government was stupid to allow them purloin the state, one can tell you their mindsets. They think that they are doing it against America. Whether they are Americans or illegal immigrants, it does not matter. What can be ascertained is that, if their devilry is left unchecked, it will destroy many people. The FBI is not just targeting people from African descent. Those accusations about these businesses are genuine. You and many others know that the community has been aware of this scam. The FBI has done raids on certain ethnic groups, including Jewish Gangs, Italian mafias and Chinese gangs. Just of recent after a quick sweep, the FBI arrested longtime California congressman Leland Yee on suspicion “of conspiracy to deal firearms and wire fraud.”
Cameroonians may blame Paul Biya for ruining the country and making them economic refugees, but he is totally absolved of their fraudulent behaviors. Anyone and everyone living in the US who supports her for defrauding the system is her indirect victim because when they become sick, MEDICAID  and MEDICARE will not be available for them, since the ilks of Florence Igwacho have siphoned the coffers. This crime is against humanity, to say the least.

Until then, may justice stay its course.

St Arrey of Ntenako.
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“Bonyfish beware because the same net that caught the jawless fish, caught the cartilaginous fish” (Hamilton Ayuk). Beware earthly paradise seekers because there is a serpent in every paradise"(Hamilton Ayuk). "It is not how well you know a person; it is how well you treat them that they will live longer and happier with you." Idle people write, idler people read, and idlest people read and whine that idle people are taking their time (Hamilton Ayuk).

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