PHYSICIAN PLEADS GUILTY TO HEALTH CARE FRAUD AND INCOME TAX FRAUD
THURSDAY JANUARY 20, 2011
Public Affairs Officer
COLUMBUS -- Dr. Rajiv Yakhmi, 45, of Powell, Ohio, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court here to one count of health care fraud and to one count of willfully filing a false income tax return with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Yakhmi faces a maximum prison sentence of 10 years and a fine of up to $250,000. In addition, the plea agreement calls for Yakhmi to forfeit $590,279 in currency and to voluntarily abandon all rights and interest in $468,991 in currency that will be applied as restitution to the victims and/or the IRS.
Carter M. Stewart, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio; Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine; Lamont Pugh, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS); Jose A. Gonzalez, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, Cincinnati Field Office (IRS); and Keith L. Bennett, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) announced the guilty plea entered before U.S. District Judge Gregory L. Frost.
According to court documents, Yakhmi is a licensed medical doctor who had an office located at 2415 Deewood Drive, Columbus, Ohio. Between October 2005 and November 2007, Yakhmi contracted with DosHealth billing service to submit medical claims on his behalf to the Medicare and Medicaid programs as well as to private insurers. DosHealth relied on patient information provided by Yakhmi to submit medical claims to government and private insurers.
Yakhmi knowingly submitted or caused to be submitted claims for patient office visits and medical services, including, but not limited to psychological tests, pulmonary stress tests and audio tests, knowing that such services were wrongfully coded, medically unnecessary or not provided to his patients. The total amount of unlawfully billed services was $590,279.18.
In addition, on Wednesdays during part of 2006 and 2007, Yakhmi refused to accept insurance and accepted cash only from his patients for medical services and office visits which he knowingly failed to report as income on his 2006 and 2007 federal income tax returns.
The investigation discovered that in late 2006, Dr Yakhmi devised a scheme to evade federal income taxes by opening a checking account with Key Bank in the name of “Spyder Medical”. Dr. Yakhmi wrote checks from his business checking account with Huntington National Bank to “Spyder Medical” to make it appear as though he had purchased the equipment from “Spyder Medical” for his medical practice; thereby claiming a fraudulent expense of $108,000 on his 2006 Federal Income Tax return.
In November, 2007, Yakhmi terminated his contracts with Medicaid and Medicare as well as private insurance and began only accepting cash payments from his patients for all office visits and medical services. The investigation revealed that Yakhmi knowingly failed to report a significant amount of these cash payments as income to the IRS on his 2007 and 2008 federal tax income tax returns.
The total amount of income Yakhmi failed to report to the IRS totaled approximately $800,000. Yakhmi also attempted to conceal over $1 million of unreported cash that was hidden inside two safes that were located in his residence.
Stewart commended the cooperative investigation by special agents of the HHS-OIG, the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit in Attorney General DeWine’s Office, IRS and FBI, and Assistant United States Attorney Kenneth Affeldt and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Constance Nearhood with Ohio Attorney General DeWine’s office, who are prosecuting the case.