Chicago Woman Found Guilty for Role in $7 Million Scheme to Defraud Medicare

A federal jury found a Chicago woman guilty on Friday for her role in a scheme to defraud Medicare of approximately $7 million between 2011 and 2017.


A federal jury found a Chicago woman guilty on Friday for her role in a scheme to defraud Medicare of approximately $7 million between 2011 and 2017.

After a four-day trial, Angelita Newton, 42, was found guilty of one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and wire fraud.   Sentencing has been scheduled for Oct. 13, 2020 before U.S. District Judge Virginia Kendall of the Northern District of Illinois, who presided over the trial. 

According to evidence presented at trial, from approximately 2011 to 2017, Newton worked at Care Specialists, a home health company based in Chicago, Illinois, and owned by Ferdinand Echavia, 46, and Ma Luisa Echavia, 44, both of Chicago.  Newton was the Echavias’ employee and personal assistant.  In that role, Newton conspired with the Echavias and others to submit claims to Medicare for unnecessary home health services for unqualified patients or for visits that did not happen as billed, the evidence showed. 

Newton created and completed visit notes and other documents purporting to reflect nursing services purportedly rendered by Ferdinand Echavia with the knowledge that he was not actually providing the services.  Newton was aware that Ferdinand Echavia was making cash payments to patients, which Newton knew to be illegal, the evidence showed.

The evidence at trial showed that between 2011 and 2017, Medicare paid Care Specialists approximately $7 million for home health care services. 

Three other defendants have been charged in connection with the fraud at Care Specialists.  Ferdinand Echavia pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud and wire fraud on Jan. 28, 2020, and is awaiting sentencing.  Ma Luisa Echavia pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud and wire fraud on Jan. 29, 2020, and is awaiting sentencing.  A former nurse at Care Specialists, Reginald Onate, 31, of Aurora, Illinois, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, and is awaiting sentencing. 

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This case was investigated by the FBI and HHS-OIG.  Trial Attorneys Leslie S. Garthwaite and Patrick Mott of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section are prosecuting the case.  Former Trial Attorney Jessica Collins of the Fraud Section previously handled the prosecution.   

Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney John R. Lausch Jr. of the Northern District of Illinois, Special Agent in Charge Emmerson Buie Jr. of the FBI’s Chicago Field Office and Special Agent in Charge Lamont Pugh III of the United States Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General’s (HHS-OIG) Chicago Division Office made the announcement.

The Fraud Section leads the Medicare Fraud Strike Force.  Since its inception in March 2007, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, which maintains 15 strike forces operating in 24 districts, has charged more than 4,200 defendants who have collectively billed the Medicare program for nearly $19 billion.  In addition, the HHS Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, working in conjunction with the HHS-OIG, are taking steps to increase accountability and decrease the presence of fraudulent providers.

Justice.gov (February, 2020) Chicago Woman Found Guilty for Role in $7 Million Scheme to Defraud Medicare

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Palm Bay Woman Sentenced To 30 Years For Sexually Exploiting Children

U.S. District Judge Roy B. Dalton, Jr. has sentenced Rose Beth Litzky (33, Palm Bay) to 30 years in federal prison for conspiring to sexually exploit children, sexually exploiting children, and possessing child pornography.


U.S. District Judge Roy B. Dalton, Jr. has sentenced Rose Beth Litzky (33, Palm Bay) to 30 years in federal prison for conspiring to sexually exploit children, sexually exploiting children, and possessing child pornography. 

A federal jury had found Litzky guilty on July 29, 2019.

According to the evidence presented at trial, between 2014 and 2016, Litzky conspired with her boyfriend, Roberto Oquendo, to sexually exploit two young children in her custody and care.

Litzky, who lived in Florida, caused the children to engage in sexually explicit conduct while Oquendo watched using a video and messaging app from his residence in Virginia.

Oquendo created hundreds of screenshots of the explicit visual depictions and transported them to Brevard County, where law enforcement found them on his cell phone.  

During an interview with law enforcement officers, Litzky also admitted to producing hundreds of sexually explicit pictures of the children and texting them to Oquendo for his sexual gratification. Law enforcement searched Litzky’s phone and found a sexually explicit image of one of the children, who was two years old at the time the picture was taken.

On August 26, 2019, U.S. District Judge Roy B. Dalton, Jr. sentenced Oquendo to 50 years in federal prison for his role in the offenses.

“Child pornography is a despicable crime so I commend the efforts of the agents and federal prosecutors who are relentless in their work to ensure children are protected from these sexual predators,” said Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Tampa Division Michael McPherson.

“I am so very proud of these agents who are devoted to protecting children by making sure the evil men and women who hurt them are brought to justice,” stated Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey. “These cases are an example of how cooperation between agencies keeps our children safe. I want to thank the U.S. Attorney’s Office for prosecuting these cases and the Federal Bureau of Investigation for all of their support in fighting the exploitation of children.”

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Ilianys River Miranda and Karen L. Gable.

This is another case brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals, who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. 

For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.

Justice.gov (February, 2020) Palm Bay Woman Sentenced To 30 Years for Sexually Exploiting Children