“Highly skilled” Third World immigrants—mostly claiming to be “healthcare professionals”—are stealing millions of dollars from US taxpayers through scams bilking the Medicaid and Medicare healthcare systems, a review of Department of Justice (DOJ) data has shown.
The data—compiled out of official DOJ press releases and media coverage of the past few weeks alone—shows that the “healthcare professional” immigrants from Africa, India, and other Third World nations are indeed “highly skilled”—at swindling.
April 17, 2018, Greeneville, Tennessee: Jose Penaranda Tan, of Morristown, Tennessee, was sentenced to serve 12 months and one day in federal prison, and repay Medicare, Medicaid (known as TennCare in the state of Tennessee), Cigna, Optum, and Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) of Tennessee in “an amount to be determined.” Tan pleaded guilty to a 35-count indictment charging him with health care fraud, false statements related to health care matters, and aggravated identity theft. Tan was the owner and operator of Therapeutic Services of Morristown (TSM), a clinic providing occupational, physical, and speech therapy services, specializing in pediatric care.
April 16, 2018, London, Kentucky: Dr. Anis Chalhoub is convicted of defrauding Medicare, Medicaid, and other insurers by implanting medically unnecessary pacemakers in his patients and causing the unnecessary procedures and follow-up care to be billed to health insurance programs.
April 16, 2018, Los Angeles, California: Aharon Aron Krkasharyan, of Los Angeles, California, was sentenced to pay $484,556 in restitution to Medicare, jointly and severally with his co-conspirators, who await sentencing. Krkasharyan was employed as the Quality Improvement Coordinator for Mauran Ambulance Inc. (Mauran) of San Fernando, California, an ambulance transportation company operating in the greater Los Angeles area that provided non-emergency services to Medicare beneficiaries, many of whom were dialysis patients. As part of his plea, Krkasharyan admitted that he conspired with other Mauran employees to submit claims to Medicare for ambulance transportation services for individuals who did not need such services. Krkasharyan also admitted that he and his co-conspirators instructed Mauran emergency medical technicians to conceal the patients’ true medical conditions by altering paperwork and creating fraudulent reasons to justify the ambulance services.
April 12, 2018, Eastern District of Michigan: Pharmacists Samir Berri, Shamimur Rahman, Ghassan Hamka, Fouzi Ramouni, Dr. Asm Akter Ahmed and one Detroit-born person, Anthony Cole, are arrested in connection with multiple health care fraud offenses. Berri, Ahmed and Ramouni were also charged with distributing and conspiring to distribute controlled substances (all opioids). The indictment says that four pharmacies run by the accused fraudulently billed Medicare, Medicaid, and Blue Cross Blue Shield for controlled substances, that were dispensed, and high-priced medications that were not dispensed. In addition, the indictment says that Ramouni recruited and paid Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries to visit Dr. Akter Ahmed. Without a genuine examination or a showing of medical necessity, Dr. Ahmed prescribed opioids for these patients, including Carisoprodol and promethazine codeine syrup. In addition to prescribing opioids, Dr. Ahmed also prescribed unnecessary and expensive medications. Ramouni and/or the “patient” then took the opioid prescriptions to Conant Plaza Pharmacy, where Samir Berri would fill them without questions. Berri would, in turn, bill insurance for dispensing the controlled substances, and fraudulently bill insurance for dispensing the expensive maintenance medications. According to the indictment, the controlled substances diverted for sale on the street had a street value in excess of $1,000,000.
April 12, 2018, Sugarland, Texas: Ebong Tilong, one of the most wanted fugitives by the Department of Health and Human Services was convicted of stealing $13 million dollars from taxpayers through his Fiango Home Healthcare Company.
April 9, 2018, Greenbelt, Maryland: Dr. Sampson Sarpong, of Bowie, Maryland, was arrested on charges related to a scheme to defraud health care benefit programs and aggravated identity theft. Sarpong owned and operated the Center for Allergic Diseases, LLC, which had numerous locations, including in White Plains, Maryland, and Glenn Dale, Maryland. Sarpong billed health care benefit programs for a variety of procedures used to test for and identify a patient’s allergic disorder, including skin prick tests (“SPT”) and patch tests (“PT”) but knowingly performed them on patients for whom such tests were not medically required. In addition, Sarpong allegedly submitted false and fraudulent claims to health care benefit programs for services that were not rendered. Further, Sarpong is used the identification of eight different patients in relation to the fraud.
April 6, 2018, Tallahassee, Florida: Lanre Saad Kelani was arrested after practicing as a “health care professional” without a license for a Medicaid recipient with a serious disease that needed 24-hour home nursing care. Kelani used a sibling’s name and license number to provide the services and defrauded the Medicaid program out of more than $715,000.
April 4, 2018 , Oklahoma City, Oklahoma: Occupational therapist Dr. Samuel Okere, of Oklahoma City, faces up to of 10 years in federal prison, followed by three years’ probation and up to $250,000 in fines after a federal grand jury charged him with 224 counts of Medicaid fraud.
April 4, 2018, Birmingham, Alabama: Dr. Patrick Emeka Ifediba, his wife, Dr. Uchenna Grace Ifediba, both of Shelby County, Patrick Ifediba’s sister, Ngozi Justina Ozuligbo, of Trussville, and Clement Essien Ebio, of Hoover, were charged with a $7.8 million health care fraud conspiracy, the use of a Birmingham clinic as a “pill mill,” unlawful drug distribution conspiracy and money laundering conspiracy.
March 29, 2018, Sterling Heights, Michigan: Juan Yrorita, assistant director of Anointed Care Services (Anointed), a Michigan home health agency, was sentenced to 36 months in prison for his role in a scheme involving approximately $1.6 million in fraudulent Medicare claims for home health services that were procured through the payment of kickbacks, and that were medically unnecessary and not provided. Yrorita was charged along with Editha Manzano, of Troy, Michigan; Liberty Jaramillo, also of Troy; Roberto Quizon, M.D., of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan; and Victoria Gallardo-Navarra, M.D., also of Bloomfield Hills. Jaramillo and Quizon pleaded guilty and are pending sentencing. Gallardo-Navarra was acquitted, and Manzano was convicted after trial and is pending sentencing.
March 22, 2018, Boston, Massachusetts: Dr. Fathallah Mashali was sentenced to eight years in prison, three years of supervised release and ordered to pay restitution of $8,725,120, after pleading pleaded guilty to 27 counts of health care fraud, one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, and 16 counts of money laundering. Mashali, a licensed physician in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, operated New England Wellness & Pain Management, P.C., a/k/a New England Pain Associates, P.C., of Massachusetts and Rhode Island, a/k/a Greystone Pain Management, Inc., a/k/a New England Pain Institute, P.C. (NEPA). He also employed Egyptian doctors in Cairo, Egypt, who entered false information into U.S. patients’ medical records. Many of the patients at NEPA were Medicare beneficiaries.
March 19, 2018, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Vidya Banka, M.D., a cardiologist and former director of Pennsylvania Hospital’s cardiac catheterization lab, “entered into a settlement agreement with the United States to resolve allegations that he improperly submitted Medicare claims for unnecessary cardiac stent procedures.”
March 19, 2018, Abingdon, Virginia: Dr. Gurcharan Singh Kanwal, of Wise, Va., was sentenced to two years’ probation, pay a $25,000 fine, surrender his medical license and pay $945,000 in restitution and forfeiture after pleading guilty to one count of healthcare fraud and one count of distributing Ritalin and hydrocodone. In addition to surrendering his medical license, Kanwal agreed to never reapply for a medical license. The investigation also revealed that Kanwal fraudulently billed Virginia Medicaid $472,500 for services provided that were not medically necessary or not actually provided.
March 15, 2018, Miami, Florida: Ailin Consuelo Rodriguez Sigler, Zoila C. Rios, and Tomas A. Rodriguez, were charged in an indictment filed in the Southern District of Florida with one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and wire fraud, and three counts of health care fraud. The owners of Florida Patient Care Corp. of Miami, Florida, were involved in a fraudulent scheme whereby they agreed with the owners and operators of multiple home health therapy staffing companies and others to bill Medicare for services that were medically unnecessary, not eligible for Medicare reimbursement, or were never provided.
March 13, 2018, Port Huron, Michigan: Dr. Demian Naguib, employed at the Neurology Clinic of Michigan on Pine Grove Avenue, is currently on trial on charges of “conducting a criminal enterprise, nine counts of Medicaid fraud, and nine counts of health care fraud.” Investigators allege Naguib, who was employed through Physician HealthCare Network, billed Medicaid, Medicare and Blue Cross Blue Shield for procedures that were not done and conducted unnecessary procedures to increase his pay.
March 12, 2018, San Diego, California: Dr. Egisto Salerno, who owns and operates a medical office on El Cajon Boulevard in San Diego, Stephen Toney, of San Diego; April Cervantes, of San Diego; David Apple, of Chula Vista; Amber Horne, of El Cajon; Lonnell Ligon, of San Diego; Shalina Latson, of San Diego; and LaJuan Smith, of San Diego, were all arrested on federal charges stemming from their roles in a conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute hydrocodone as part of a ‘pill mill’ operation. The accused recruited individuals, often homeless or of limited means, to pose as “patients” to obtain hydrocodone prescriptions, which were charged to Medicaid. The “patients” were paid for turning over their hydrocodone tablets to defendants.
March 9, 2018, Jersey City, New Jersey: Dr. Subramaniam Khanthan, who operates Hudson Medical, P.C., has been charged with 16 counts of second-degree health care claims fraud and one count each of theft by deception and illegal use of runners.
February 28, 2018, Los Angeles, California: Drs. Julian Omidi, of West Hollywood, and Mirali Zarrabi, of Beverly Hills, were arrested on federal fraud charges stemming from more than $250 million in fraudulent bills related to the 1-800-GET-THIN Lap-Band surgery business. Their victims included Tricare, the US government’s military healthcare service. The indictment contains charges of mail fraud, wire fraud, false statements, money laundering and aggravated identity theft. “Doctor Zarrabi and former physician Omidi victimized countless patients when they allegedly provided medically unnecessary treatment in order to boost their own profits to the tune of tens of millions of dollars,” said California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. “Medical provider fraud is multi-billion dollar problem that drives up health insurance premiums and creates a drain on our economy.”
February 26, 2018, Orlando, Florida: Dr. Ishrat Sohail was arrested for administering partial vaccines to privately insured children. The vaccines were reserved for the Vaccines for Children Program (VFC) that caters to Medicaid and uninsured kids. She is also being charged with giving partial doses of vaccines while billing he state at full cost.
November 15, 2017, Brooklyn, New York: Ikechukwu Udeokoro and Ayodeji Fasonu were charged for a scheme to submit over $3.5 million in fraudulent claims to private insurers, which included government-sponsored managed care organizations. Udeokoro and Fasonu were the owner and manager, respectively, of Meik Medical Equipment and Supply LLC, a purported durable medical equipment (DME) company in Bronx, New York.