Michigan Home Health Agency Owner Pleads Guilty to Charges for Role in Medicare Kickback Scheme
The owner of a Michigan home health agency pleaded guilty today to charges for his role in a scheme involving Medicare claims for home health services that were procured through the payment of illegal kickbacks.
Acting Assistant Attorney General John P. Cronan of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Matthew J. Schneider of the Eastern District of Michigan, Special Agent in Charge David P. Gelios of the FBI’s 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’s (HHS-OIG) Chicago Regional Office made the announcement.
Atheir Amarrah, 43, of West Bloomfield, Michigan, the owner of Prompt Care Home Health Services Inc. of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to pay and receive health care kickbacks in connection with Medicare beneficiaries and to four substantive counts of paying health care kickbacks before U.S. District Judge Judith E. Levy of the Eastern District of Michigan. Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 25, before Judge Levy.
As part of his guilty plea, Amarrah admitted that he paid illegal kickbacks to recruiters in exchange for Medicare beneficiary referrals and billed Medicare for claims procured through these illegal kickbacks. The scheme is alleged to have resulted a loss of up to $1.8 million to the Medicare program by submitting claims to Medicare from 2013 through 2017 related to Medicare beneficiary information that he obtained by paying illegal kickbacks. The loss amount will be determined by the court at sentencing.
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 for the Eastern District of Michigan. Trial Attorneys Jacob Foster and Howard Locker of the Fraud Section are prosecuting the case.
The Fraud Section leads the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, which is part of a joint initiative between the Department of Justice and HHS to focus their efforts to prevent and deter fraud and enforce current anti-fraud laws around the country. The Medicare Fraud Strike Force operates in nine locations nationwide. Since its inception in March 2007, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force has charged over 3,500 defendants who collectively have falsely billed the Medicare program for over $12.5 billion.