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Nurse From Nigeria Scams Medicare For $17 Million

Supporters cast a shadow as they cheer Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry during a town hall meeting in West Palm Beach, Florida September 22, 2004. Kerry used the event to focus on his proposed plans for Medicare and Social Security. (Photo: REUTERS/Brian Snyder)Supporters cast a shadow as they cheer Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry during a town hall meeting in West Palm Beach, Florida September 22, 2004. Kerry used the event to focus on his proposed plans for Medicare and Social Security. (Photo: REUTERS/Brian Snyder)

A registered nurse was sentenced to 10 years in prison for defrauding Medicare of $17 million Wednesday, and told the court he didn’t intend to swindle the government.

Eric Ugorji, 48, moved to the United States from Nigeria 25 years ago. He showed regret for his actions and asked for leniency from the judge, according to The Houston Chronicle.

“Your honor, I didn’t intend to defraud Medicare,” he said. “I was a good nurse and I made terrible, bad business mistakes.” Ugorji plead guilty on two counts of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud back in April.

U.S. District Judge David Hittner sentenced Ugorji to 10 years in jail and three years of supervised release. Ugorji also must begin repaying the money he stole in $25 installments.

Ugorji was busted as part of a nationwide crackdown on Medicare fraud last year. He ran two health clinics from 2009 to 2016 and received payments for unnecessary and non-existent services.

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