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United States of America v. $455

September 26, 2011

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
v.
$455,273.72 IN FUNDS FROM BANK OF AMERICA CHECKING ACCOUNT #0019-2067-7376 HELD IN THE NAME OF THE VOICE OF SOCIAL CONCERN ASSOCIATION, INC., ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Emmet G. Sullivan United States District Court Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION

This action involves property that plaintiff, the federal government, alleges is forfeitable. The facts that form the basis of this civil in rem action are identical to those that formed the basis for the criminal prosecution and subsequent conviction of claimant Akube Wuromoni Ndoromo (a/k/a Akiuber Ndoromo James) for health care fraud and money laundering. See Criminal Case No. 06-19. The government contends that the defendant property is subject to forfeiture because, among other things, the jury in claimant's criminal action determined that the defendant funds and the defendant vehicles were traceable to the health care fraud and money laundering offenses. Pending before the Court is the government's motion for summary judgment. Upon consideration of the motion, the response and reply thereto, the applicable law, and the entire record, the Court concludes that plaintiff is entitled to summary judgment on Counts I and IV of the Verified Complaint. *fn1 Accordingly, and for the reasons stated herein, the Court GRANTS plaintiff's motion.

I. Background

On or about January 10, 2001, Voice of Social Concern Association, Inc. ("VSCA") became a D.C. Medicaid transportation provider, eligible to receive reimbursements from Medicaid for the provision of non-emergency transportation of Medicaid recipients. Pl.'s SMF ¶ 5.*fn2 Claimant Ndoromo was the President/Chief Executive Officer of VSCA. Pl.'s SMF ¶ 6. VSCA's business address, 3636 16th Street NW, Apartment B1235, Washington, DC 20010, also served as Mr. Ndoromo's residence. Pl.'s SMF ¶ 7.

Mr. Ndoromo and VSCA engaged in a scheme to defraud D.C. Medicaid by preparing and submitting false claims for transportation services. Specifically, Mr. Ndoromo and VSCA would submit claims stating that it had provided transportation services to Medicaid beneficiaries, when, in fact, no such services had been rendered. Pl.'s SMF ¶ 8 (citing Criminal Case No. 06-19, Docket No. 37 ("Verdict")). Mr. Ndoromo completely controlled VSCA's bank accounts and signed D.C. Medicaid's Electronic Data Interchange ("EDI") [Direct Deposit] Enrollment Application as VSCA's Chief Financial Officer/Authorized Representative. Pl.'s SMF ¶ 9. Mr. Ndoromo signed claims purporting to document transportation services provided to beneficiaries and then submitted them to Affiliated Computer Services ("ACS"), the company that handled billing for the District of Columbia's Medicaid Program. Pl.'s SMF ¶¶ 10, 4.

In response to claims submitted by Mr. Ndoromo on behalf of VSCA, D.C. Medicaid mailed approximately ninety-nine checks to Mr. Ndoromo at his residence. These Medicaid checks were deposited into VSCA's Bank of America, N.A. ("BOA") checking account number 0019 2067 7376. Pl.'s SMF ¶ 11. D.C. Medicaid also sent reimbursements directly by wire to VSCA's BOA checking account number 0019 2067 7376, which Mr. Ndoromo controlled. Pl.'s SMF ¶ 12. D.C. Medicaid paid VSCA at least $1,550,767.46 for transportation services. Pl.'s SMF ¶ 13.

On December 20, 2004, a United States Magistrate Judge in the District of Columbia issued four seizure warrants. Pl.'s SMF ¶ 14. One warrant authorized seizure of a "2004 Land Rover, Discovery II, Sport Utility Vehicle, DC Tag CB2367, VIN SALTR19434A829815 registered in the name of [Ndoromo]." Pl.'s SMF ¶ 14 (citing Seizure Warrant, Mag. No. 04-M-796).*fn3 A second warrant authorized seizure of a "2001 Chevrolet 3500 Express Van, DC Tag B40149, Vehicle Identification Number 1GAHG39R211120100." Pl.'s SMF ¶ 14 (citing Seizure Warrant, Mag. No. 04-M-797).*fn4 A third warrant authorized seizure of "[a]ny and all funds in the following accounts at [BOA], held in the name of [VSCA]: (1) #0019 2067 7376 (checking account); (2) #910 000 0658 0436 (CD account); (3) #910 000 0665 2911 (CD account); and (4) #910 000 1557 3214 (CD account); and [a]ny and all funds in [BOA], checking account #0019 2315 5727, held in the name of [Ndoromo]." Pl.'s SMF ¶ 14 (citing Seizure Warrant, Mag. No. 04-M-798 (D.D.C. December 20, 2004)).*fn5 A fourth warrant authorized seizure of "[a]ny and all funds in the following accounts at Citibank, FSB ("Citibank"), held in the name of [Ndoromo] (1) #16196821 (CD account); (2) #6737246044; and (3) #6737691961." Pl.'s SMF ¶ 14 (citing Seizure Warrant, Mag. No. 04-M-799 (D.D.C. December 20, 2004)).*fn6

The seizure warrants for the funds in the bank accounts were executed on December 21, 2004. Pl.'s SMF ¶ 15. The seizure warrants for the vehicles along with two search warrants were executed on December 22, 2004. Execution of the four seizure warrants resulted in the seizure of the following ten items:

* $455,273.72 in funds from BOA checking account number 0019 2067 7376, held in the name of VSCA;

* $20,749.93 in funds from BOA Certificate of Deposit ("CD") account number 910 000 0658 0436, held in the name of VSCA;

* $51,035.88 in funds from BOA CD account number 910 000 0665 2911, held in the name of VSCA;

* $101,563.35 in funds from BOA CD account number 910 000 1557 3214, held in the name of VSCA;

* $4,309.21 in funds from BOA checking account number 0019 2315 5727, held in the name of Mr. Ndoromo;

* $404,159.73 in funds form Citibank money market account number 16196821, held in ...


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