Two owners of a Houston health care company have pleaded guilty to charges that they have swindled Medicare of $5.2 million by filing false claims.

According to the Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services, Clifford Ubani, 52, and Princewill Njoku, 51, have pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, one count of conspiracy to pay kickbacks and 16 counts of payment of kickbacks to Medicare beneficiary recruiters.

Court documents show that Ubani and Njoku were owners and operators of Family Healthcare Group (Family Group), a Houston-based home health care company that purports to provide skilled nursing to Medicare beneficiaries.

However, instead of providing real nursing services, the Family Group engaged in recruiting Medicare beneficiaries for the purpose of filing fraudulent claims with Medicare for skilled nursing that was medically unnecessary and/or not provided. The recruiters were paid kickbacks for their referrals.

Incidentally, Ubani and Njoku were also involved in another health care fraud committed by Houston health care company, Family Healthcare Services (Family Services). Family Services had submitted approximately $1.1 million in fraudulent claims to Medicare for the costs of durable medical equipment. Ubani and Njoku have pleaded guilty to the charges.

The accused will be sentenced on July 19, 2011. Each of them face a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for each health care fraud conspiracy count, five years in prison for each kickback conspiracy count and five years in prison for each kickback count.