TRENTON – Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa announced that a Hunterdon County pediatrician has been charged in a state grand jury indictment for allegedly stealing more than $73,000 by overbilling the Medicaid program.
Ibilola Ighama-Amegor, M.D., 51, of Hampton, was charged yesterday (April 25) with 17 counts of second-degree health care claims fraud and one count each of third-degree Medicaid fraud and third-degree theft by deception.
“This defendant allegedly billed as if she was working 24 hours a day,” said Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Ronald Chillemi. “The Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor will continue to crack down on unscrupulous individuals who defraud the Medicaid program, which provides vital assistance to vulnerable New Jersey residents.”
The indictment alleges that between January 1, 2008 and May 16, 2011, Amegor, whose practice, Quality Pediatrix, is located in Newark, submitted fraudulent claims through which she falsely billed for 24 hours or more of work on 17 separate days. An investigation by the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor determined that Amegor’s practice is only open for seven hours per day, three days a week.
Deputy Attorney General David B. Noble, Detective Laura Catizone, and Detective Kylie Mattis coordinated the investigation. Analyst Elizabeth O’Brien conducted the billing analysis that supported the investigation. Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Ronald Chillemi thanked the Medicaid Fraud Division within the State Comptroller’s Office for referring the matter to the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor.
The indictment is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty. Second-degree crimes carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in state prison and a criminal fine of up to $150,000 while third-degree crimes carry a maximum sentence of five years in state prison and a criminal fine of up to $15,000.