FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 14, 2011
TRENTON, N.J. – A Jersey City, N.J., man who fled to Pakistan to avoid prosecution over a decade ago was sentenced today to 21 months in prison for defrauding Medicare of approximately $126,000 by submitting false claims in 1997, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Saqib Ali, 57, pleaded guilty on July 19, 2011, to 10 counts of an Indictment charging him with knowingly and willfully executing a scheme and artifice to defraud the Medicare program, admitting he filed false claims to Medicare from as early as July 1997 and cashed the checks at a check cashing store in Jersey City. Ali entered his guilty plea before U.S. District Judge Garret E. Brown, who also imposed the sentence today in Trenton federal court.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Between July and November 1997 Ali was self-employed as owner of Medtechnology Inc., in Rutherford, N.J., which purportedly provided clinical laboratory services to physicians. Ali caused false reimbursement claims to be submitted for laboratory services that were never performed. As a result of this scheme, Ali received approximately $126,000 from Medicare.
Ali first appeared in court on charges he defrauded Medicare on March 4, 1998, and was released on $100,000 bail. He subsequently fled to Pakistan where he remained a fugitive for the past 13 years. In March 2011, Ali contacted U.S. officials in Pakistan and voluntarily agreed to return to the United States. Ali arrived at the Los Angeles International Airport on May 31, 2011, where he was taken into custody by United States Mashals.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Brown sentenced the defendant three years of supervised release and ordered him to pay $126,870.83 in restitution.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Thomas ODonnell, of the New York Field Office, with the investigation – as well as special agents of the Department of State Office of Inspector General in Washington and Marshals of the U.S. Marshal Service in New Jersey.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jacques S. Pierre of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Health Care and Government Fraud Unit in Newark.
Defense counsel: Andrea Bergman Esq., Assistant Federal Public Defender, Trenton