Detroit Home Health Agency Office Manager Sentenced for Her Role in $5.8 Million Medicare Fraud Scheme

The office manager of a Detroit-area home health agency was sentenced today to serve 46 months in prison for her role in a $5.8 million Medicare fraud scheme.
Acting Assistant Attorney General David A. O’Neil of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade of the Eastern District of Michigan, Special Agent in Charge Paul M. Abbate of the FBI’s Detroit Field Office and Special Agent in Charge Lamont Pugh III of the Detroit Office of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General’s (HHS-OIG) Office of Investigations made the announcement.
Nabila Mahbub, 28, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Denise Page Hood in the Eastern District of Michigan.   In addition to her prison term, Mahbub was sentenced to serve two   years of supervised release and was ordered to pay more than $3 million in restitution, jointly and severally with her co-defendants.
A jury convicted Mahbub of one count of health care fraud conspiracy in April 2013. According to evidence presented at trial, the defendant and her co-conspirators caused the submission of false and fraudulent claims to Medicare through All American Home Care Inc., a home health care company located in Oak Park, Mich., that purported to provide skilled nursing and physical therapy services to Medicare beneficiaries in the greater Detroit area.
The evidence at trial showed that Mahbub and her co-conspirators used patient recruiters, who paid Medicare beneficiaries to sign blank documents for physical therapy services that were never provided and/or medically unnecessary.   The owners of All American paid physicians to sign referrals and other therapy documents necessary to bill Medicare. Physical therapists and physical therapist assistants then created fake medical records using blank, pre-signed forms obtained by the patient recruiters to make it appear as if physical therapy services were actually rendered, when, in fact, they were not.
According to evidence presented at trial, Mahbub doctored and directed the doctoring of fake patient files to facilitate the commencement and billing of home health services purportedly provided by physical therapists and physical therapist assistants working for All American. Mahbub also directed the physical therapists and physical therapist assistants who created fake therapy visit notes using blank, pre-signed forms, to make it appear that physical therapy services billed to Medicare were actually provided.
All American was paid more than $5.8 million from Medicare between September 2008 and November 2009.
The investigation was led by the FBI and HHS-OIG and was brought by the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, under the supervision of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Michigan.   This case is being prosecuted by Deputy Chief Gejaa T. Gobena and Trial Attorney Matthew C. Thuesen of the Fraud Section.
Since its inception in March 2007, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, now operating in nine cities across the country, has charged more than 1,700 defendants who have collectively billed the Medicare program for more than $5.5 billion.   In addition, HHS’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, working in conjunction with HHS-OIG, is taking steps to increase accountability and decrease the presence of fraudulent providers.

Home Health Agency Owner Sentenced for Role in $11 Million Detroit Medicare Fraud Scheme

A home health agency owner who participated in a Medicare fraud scheme that totaled almost $11 million was sentenced in Detroit today to serve 120 months in prison.
Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan Barbara L. McQuade, Special Agent in Charge Robert D. Foley III of the FBI’s Detroit Field Office and Special Agent in Charge Lamont Pugh III of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG) Chicago Regional Office made the announcement.
Chiradeep Gupta, 39, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Denise Page Hood in the Eastern District of Michigan.  In addition to his prison term, Gupta was sentenced to serve three years of supervised release and was ordered to pay more than $10 million in restitution, jointly and severally with his co-defendants.
On Oct. 26, 2012,  Gupta, a physical therapist and part-owner of All American, a home health care company located in Oak Park, Mich., was found guilty at trial of one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering and three substantive counts of money laundering.
According to evidence presented at trial, Gupta and his co-conspirators caused the submission of false and fraudulent claims to Medicare through All American and Patient Choice, another Oak Park-based home health care company, which purported to provide skilled nursing and physical therapy services to Medicare beneficiaries in the greater Detroit area.
The evidence showed that Gupta and his co-conspirators used patient recruiters, who paid Medicare beneficiaries to sign blank documents for physical therapy services that were never provided and/or medically unnecessary.  The owners of Patient Choice and All American paid physicians to sign referrals and other therapy documents necessary to bill Medicare.  Physical therapists and physical therapist assistants provided through contractors, including two owned by Gupta, would then create fake medical records using the blank, pre-signed forms obtained by the patient recruiters to make it appear as if physical therapy services had actually been rendered, when, in fact, the services had not been rendered.
According to evidence presented at trial, Gupta provided to Patient Choice and All American physical therapists and physical therapist assistants who created fake patient files using blank, pre-signed forms obtained by patient recruiters to make it appear as if the physical therapy services billed to Medicare had actually been provided.  Gupta also doctored and directed the doctoring of fake patient files.  The evidence at trial showed that Gupta laundered the proceeds of the fraud through multiple shell companies.
This case was investigated by the FBI, HHS-OIG and the Internal Revenue Service and was brought as part of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, under the supervision of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Michigan. This case was prosecuted by Deputy Chief Gejaa Gobena, Assistant Chief Catherine Dick and Trial Attorney Niall O’Donnell of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section.
Since its inception in March 2007, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, now operating in nine cities across the country, has charged more than 1,700 defendants who have collectively billed the Medicare program for more than $5.5 billion.   In addition, HHS’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, working in conjunction with HHS-OIG, is taking steps to increase accountability and decrease the presence of fraudulent providers.

Detroit-Area Home Health Care Agency Owner Sentenced for Role in $2.2 Million Medicare Fraud Scheme

The owner of a Detroit-area home health care agency was sentenced today to serve 65 months in prison for her leading role in a $2.2 million Medicare fraud scheme.
Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade of the Eastern District of Michigan, Special Agent in Charge Paul M. Abbate of the FBI’s Detroit Field Office, and Special Agent in Charge Lamont Pugh III of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG) Office of Investigations’ Detroit Office made the announcement.
Mehran Javidan, 51, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Denise Page Hood in the Eastern District of Michigan. In addition to her prison term, Javidan was sentenced to serve three years of supervised release and was ordered to pay $2.2 million in restitution, jointly and severally with her co-defendants.
Javidan was convicted by a federal jury on April 2, 2013, of one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, three counts of health care fraud, three counts of making false statements related to health care matters and one count of conspiracy to solicit or pay health care kickbacks in exchange for referrals of patients to home health care company Acure Home Care Inc. (Acure).  The jury found Javidan not guilty of one count of making false statements and one count of health care fraud and did not reach a verdict on one additional count of health care fraud.
Javidan was initially charged along with two other defendants in an indictment unsealed on Feb. 17, 2011, as part of a nationwide Medicare fraud takedown.  One co-defendant was also convicted on April 2, 2013, while the other remains a fugitive.
According to evidence presented at trial, Javidan owned and operated Acure, a home health care company in Oak Park, Mich., and later Troy, Mich.  Javidan paid doctors to refer non-homebound patients for physical therapy treatment that was medically unnecessary.  The evidence showed that she also paid patient recruiters to obtain Medicare information and pre-signed physical therapy documents from Medicare beneficiaries.  The recruiters for Acure obtained the Medicare information and pre-signed forms by paying patients in cash and by promising that the referring doctors would prescribe them narcotic prescriptions.
Evidence presented at trial established that Javidan paid physical therapists and physical therapy assistants employed by Acure to create false and fraudulent physical therapy files using the blank, pre-signed forms to make it appear as if physical therapy services were actually rendered, when in fact, the services had not been rendered.
Javidan then directed the submission of Acure’s falsified billing to Medicare.  Acure was paid more than $2.2 million from Medicare between December 2008 and November 2010.
The investigation was led by the FBI and HHS-OIG and was brought by the Medicare Fraud Strike Force under the supervision of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Michigan.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant Chief Catherine K. Dick and Trial Attorney Niall M. O’Donnell of the Fraud Section.
Since its inception in March 2007, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, now operating in Chicago and eight other cities across the country, has charged more than 1,500 defendants who have collectively billed the Medicare program for more than $5 billion.  In addition, HHS’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, working in conjunction with HHS-OIG, are taking steps to increase accountability and decrease the presence of fraudulent providers.

Mastermind of $11 Million Detroit Medicare Fraud Scheme Sentenced to 50 Months in Prison

Muhammad Shahab, the mastermind of an almost $11 million Medicare fraud scheme in Detroit, was sentenced today to 50 months in prison.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan Barbara L. McQuade, Special Agent in Charge Robert D. Foley III of the FBI’s Detroit Field Office and Special Agent in Charge Lamont Pugh III of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG) Chicago Regional Office made the announcement.

Shahab, 53, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Denise Page Hood in the Eastern District of Michigan.  In addition to his prison term, Shahab was sentenced to three years of supervised release and was ordered to pay more than $10.8 million in restitution, jointly and severally with his co-defendants.    Shahab pleaded guilty to one count of health care fraud in February 2010.  According to information contained in plea documents, Shahab helped finance and establish two Detroit-area home health agencies, Patient Choice Home Healthcare Inc. (Patient Choice) and All American Home Care Inc. (All American).  Shahab admitted that while operating or being associated with both home health agencies, he and his co-conspirators billed Medicare for home health visits that never occurred.         Shahab admitted that he and his co-conspirators recruited and paid cash kickbacks and other inducements to Medicare beneficiaries in exchange for the beneficiaries’ Medicare numbers and signatures on documents falsely indicating that they had visited Patient Choice and All American for the purpose of receiving physical or occupational therapy.  Shahab admitted that a large number of the beneficiaries were neither homebound nor in need of any physical therapy services.       Shahab also admitted to securing physician referrals for medically unnecessary home health services through the payment of kickbacks to physicians or individuals associated with physicians.  Shahab employed several physical therapists and physical therapy assistants to sign medical documentation needed to begin billing for home health care services, including initial payments and payments for each visit to a Medicare beneficiary.  Shahab acknowledged that he knew the physical therapists and physical therapy assistants were not actually conducting a large majority of the visits or treating a large majority of the patients, and confessed to billing and receiving payment from Medicare for services not rendered or medically unnecessary services.         Between approximately August 2007 and October 2009, Shahab and his co-conspirators at Patient Choice and All American submitted approximately $10.8 million in claims to the Medicare program for physical and occupational therapy services that were never rendered or were medically unnecessary.    This case was investigated by the FBI, HHS-OIG and the Internal Revenue Service and was brought as part of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, under the supervision of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Michigan.  This case was prosecuted by Deputy Chief Gejaa Gobena, Assistant Chief Catherine Dick and Trial Attorney Niall O’Donnell of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section.

Since its inception in March 2007, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, now operating in nine cities across the country, has charged more than 1,500 defendants who have collectively billed the Medicare program for more than $5 billion.  In addition, HHS’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, working in conjunction with HHS-OIG, is taking steps to increase accountability and decrease the presence of fraudulent providers.