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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Five Individuals Charged in Detroit for Alleged Roles in $24.7 Million Medicare Fraud Scheme

Four Additional Defendants Were Previously Charged for Their Roles in the Scheme

WASHINGTON – Five individuals were charged in court documents unsealed today in the Eastern District of Michigan for their participation in a Medicare fraud scheme involving purported home health and psychotherapy services, announced the Department of Justice, the FBI and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

According to court documents, the scheme allegedly involved a total of more than $24.7 million in fraudulent claims submitted to Medicare for purported home health care and psychotherapy services that were medically unnecessary and/or never provided. 

Court documents allege that the defendants are operators, employees and marketers associated with home health care and psychotherapy clinics operating in and around Detroit.  Defendants charged in court documents unsealed today include: Mohammed Sadiq, 65, Troy, Mich.; Jamella Al-Jumail, 23, of Brownstown, Mich.; Firas Alky, 40, of Shelby Township, Mich.; Clarence Cooper, 53, of Detroit; and Beverly Cooper, 58, of Detroit.

Four defendants charged in the superseding indictment were previously charged and arrested in May 2012 for their roles in the scheme.  Defendants previously charged include: Sachin Sharma, 36, of Shelby Township; Dana Sharma, 29, of Shelby Township; Abdul Malik Al-Jumail, aka Tony, 52, of Brownstown; Felicar Williams, 49, of Dearborn, Mich.

The superseding indictment charges all defendants with one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud; Sachin Sharma with five counts of health care fraud; Sachin Sharma, Abdul Malik Al-Jumail, Williams, Sadiq, Alky and Clarence Cooper with one count of conspiracy to pay and receive health care kickbacks; and Jamella Al-Jumail with one count of destruction of records in a federal investigation.  The superseding indictment also seeks forfeiture from all defendants.

According to the superseding indictment, from January 2007 through April 2012, the defendants operated a large network of purported home health care and psychotherapy companies in the Detroit area through which they conspired to defraud Medicare.

According to court documents, Sachin Sharma, Dana Sharma, Abdul Malik Al-Jumail, Williams, Jamella Al-Jumail, Sadiq, Alky and other alleged co-conspirators incorporated home health care, psychotherapy and other medical service companies to carry out the scheme, including Reliance Home Care, LLC; First Choice Home Health Care Services Inc.; Associates in Home Care Inc.; Haven Adult Day Care Center LLC; Swift Home Care LLC; ABC Home Care Inc.; Accessible Home Care Inc.; and Be Well Home Care LLC.  The defendants, along with co-conspirators, allegedly submitted Medicare enrollment applications to permit these companies to bill Medicare. Sachin Sharma, Abdul Malik-Al-Jumail, Sadiq, Alky and others allegedly paid kickbacks and bribes to recruiters, including Williams and Clarence Cooper, to obtain Medicare beneficiaries’ information, which could be used to fraudulently bill Medicare for purported services provided by the companies they operated and controlled.  The defendants then allegedly caused these companies to bill Medicare for home health and psychotherapy services, even though these services were not medically necessary and were often not provided.

According to the superseding indictment, the defendants caused Reliance, First Choice, Associates, Haven, Swift, ABC, Accessible and other home health, psychotherapy and medical services companies to submit approximately $24.7 million in claims to Medicare for services that were medically unnecessary and/or not provided.  In addition, Jamella Al-Jumail is charged with destroying records relating to Accessible’s Medicare billings upon learning of the May 2012 arrest of Abdul Malik Al-Jumail, her co-conspirator and father.

Clarence and Beverly Cooper, Sadiq and Jamella Al-Jumail were arrested yesterday.

The case is being prosecuted by Fraud Section Assistant Chief Gejaa T. Gobena and Trial Attorney William G. Kanellis.  The investigations were conducted jointly by the FBI and HHS-OIG, as part of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, supervised by 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, strike force operations in nine locations have charged more than 1,330 defendants who collectively have billed the Medicare program for more than $4 billion. In addition, HHS’s 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, go to: www.stopmedicarefraud.gov.

Press Release Number: 
Updated February 16, 2022