Detroit-Area Home Health Agency Office Manager Convicted in $5.8 Million Medicare Fraud Scheme
A federal jury in Detroit today convicted the office manager of a home health agency for her participation in a $5.8 million Medicare fraud scheme, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan Barbara L. McQuade; Robert D. Foley III, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI 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 (HHS-OIG), Office of Investigations Detroit Office.
Nabila Mahbub, 27, the office manager of All American Home Care Inc., was found guilty in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan of one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud.
Mahbub was charged in a superseding indictment returned March 27, 2012. Nineteen other individuals who worked at or were associated with All American were previously convicted for their roles in the fraudulent scheme; one was acquitted at trial, but was convicted at trial for a separate, but related, scheme.
According to evidence presented at trial, the defendant and her co-conspirators caused the submission of false and fraudulent claims to Medicare through All American, a home health care company located in Oak Park, Mich., that purported to provide skilled nursing and physical therapy services to Medicare beneficiaries in the greater Detroit area.
The evidence at trial showed that the defendant and her co-conspirators used patient recruiters, who paid Medicare beneficiaries to sign blank documents for physical therapy services that were never provided and/or medically unnecessary. The owners of All American paid physicians to sign referrals and other therapy documents necessary to bill Medicare. Physical therapists and physical therapist assistants then created fake medical records using blank, pre-signed forms obtained by the patient recruiters to make it appear as if physical therapy services were actually rendered, when, in fact, they were not.
According to evidence presented at trial, Mahbub doctored and directed the doctoring of fake patient files to facilitate the commencement and billing of home health services purportedly provided by physical therapists and physical therapist assistants working for All American. Mahbub also directed the physical therapists and physical therapist assistants who created fake therapy visit notes using blank, pre-signed forms, to make it appear that physical therapy services billed to Medicare were actually provided.
All American was paid over $5.8 million from Medicare between September 2008 and November 2009.
At sentencing, scheduled for July 25, 2013, Mahbub faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.
This case is being prosecuted by Deputy Chief Gejaa T. Gobena and Trial Attorney Matthew C. Thuesen of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section. The investigation was led by the FBI and HHS-OIG, and was brought by the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, a joint effort of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Michigan and 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 more than 1,480 defendants who have collectively billed the Medicare program for more than $4.8 billion. In addition, HHS’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, working in conjunction with HHS-OIG, is 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.