Detroit-Area Man Arrested in Connection with Home Health Care Fraud Scheme
Here’s another case where Medicare beneficiaries participated in a Medicare fraud scheme, but do not seem to have been charged with any crime and would likely be counted as medical identity theft “victims” in statistical analyses:
A Detroit-area resident was arrested today for his role in a $2.7 million home health care fraud scheme.
Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell 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’s (HHS-OIG) Chicago Regional Office made the announcement.
Javed Akhtar, 47, of Brownstown, Michigan, was arrested pursuant to a criminal complaint charging him with participating in a health care fraud scheme involving two home health agencies in Wayne, Michigan: Life Choice Home Health Care LLC (Life Choice), which he owned, and Angle’s Touch Home Health Care LLC (Angle’s Touch). Both Life Choice and Angle’s Touch purported to provide in-home health care services to Medicare beneficiaries.
According to the complaint, Akhtar served as a patient recruiter for Angle’s Touch and Life Choice, where he allegedly paid kickbacks to Medicare beneficiaries in exchange for their Medicare beneficiary information and their signatures on false medical records. The complaint alleges that Angle’s Touch and Life Choice then billed Medicare for services purportedly provided to those beneficiaries that were not actually provided, were not medically necessary, or in instances where the claims were illegally procured through the payment of kickbacks.
The charges contained in a complaint are merely accusations, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
This case was investigated by the FBI and HHS-OIG and was brought as part of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, supervised by 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 Trial Attorney Niall M. 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 nearly 2,000 defendants who have collectively billed the Medicare program for more than $6 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.
To learn more about the Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team (HEAT), go to: www.stopmedicarefraud.gov.
SOURCE: Department of Justice