A Detroit -area man was indicted today for obstruction of justice in connection with his alleged attempts to conceal evidence relevant to his upcoming trial for an alleged health care fraud scheme with estimated losses exceeding $30 million.
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 Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG) Chicago Regional Office made the announcement.
Zafar Mehmood, 48, of Ypsilanti, Michigan, is currently awaiting trial for his alleged role in a health care fraud scheme involving, among other allegations, the submission of fraudulent claims to Medicare for services that were medically unnecessary or never provided. Mehmood allegedly used at least four home health agencies in the Detroit area, including Access Care Home Care Inc., Patient Care Home Care Inc., Hands On Healing Home Care Inc. and All State Home Care Inc., to perpetrate his fraud.
According to today’s indictment, on July 25, 2014, and again on July 28, 2014, Mehmood attempted to alter and conceal records and documents, which included several patient files, with the intent to impair their integrity and availability for use in his upcoming trial.
An indictment is merely an allegation, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
This case is being investigated by the FBI and HHS-OIG 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 is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Nathan Dimock, Niall O’Donnell, and A. Brendan Stewart 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 1,900 defendants who have collectively billed the Medicare program for more than $6 billion. In addition, the HHS Centers for Medicare and 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