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Monday, April 11, 2016

Home Health Care Agency Owner Pleads Guilty in $4 Million Detroit-Area Medicare Fraud Scheme

The owner and operator of a Detroit-area home health care agency pleaded guilty today for his participation in a $4 million health care fraud scheme.  

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 David P. Gelios of the FBI’s Detroit Division and Special Agent in Charge Lamont Pugh III of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG) Chicago Regional Office made the announcement.

Naseem Minhas, 49, of West Bloomfield, Michigan, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Nancy G. Edmonds of the Eastern District of Michigan to count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud.  Sentencing has been scheduled for Sept. 6, 2016, before Judge Edmonds. 

According to his plea agreement, Minhas was the owner and operator of TriCounty Home Care Services Inc. (TriCounty), a home health care agency that purported to provide home health care and physical therapy services to eligible Medicare beneficiaries in the greater Detroit metropolitan area.  According to admissions made as part of his plea agreement, Minhas paid a physician and recruiters to refer Medicare beneficiaries to TriCounty and sign medical documents falsely certifying that they required home health care.  Minhas, a licensed physical therapist, also admitted that he assisted in creating fake patient files to make it appear as though the patients needed and received services that were unnecessary or not provided.

Between February 2009 and November 2013, Medicare paid TriCounty $4 million as a result of these false and fraudulent claims, Minhas admitted.

The FBI and HHS-OIG investigated the case, which 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 of the Eastern District of Michigan.  Fraud Section Trial Attorneys Elizabeth Young and Thomas Tynan, Fraud Section Special Trial Attorney Katie R. Fink and Assistant U.S. Attorney Katherine Wagner of the Eastern District of Michigan are prosecuting the case.

Since its inception in March 2007, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, now operating in nine cities across the country, has charged over 2,300 defendants who collectively have billed the Medicare program for over $7 billion.  In addition, the HHS Centers for Medicare & 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.            

Healthcare Fraud
Updated April 11, 2016