South Texas Doctor Sentenced to Five Years in Prison for Role in a Fraudulent Medical Clinic
A Houston, Texas doctor was sentenced to 60 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release today for his role in a fraudulent medical clinic that ran costly, unnecessary diagnostic tests.
Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick of the Southern District of Texas, Special Agent in Charge Perrye K. Turner of the FBI’s Houston Field Office, Special Agent in Charge C.J. Porter of the Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General’s (HHS-OIG) Dallas Regional Office and the Texas Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) made the announcement.
Faiz Ahmed, M.D., 66, of Houston, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Gray H. Miller of the Southern District of Texas. Judge Miller also ordered the defendant to pay $4,192,156 in restitution. Ahmed was found guilty following a six-day trial in 2017 of one count of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud and seven counts of healthcare fraud.
Ahmed and eight co-defendants engaged in a conspiracy to falsely bill Medicare and Medicaid for medically unnecessary diagnostic tests. According to evidence admitted at trial, Ahmed agreed to approve the unnecessary testing and allowed his physician number to be used to fraudulently bill the Medicare program. As a result of the overall conspiracy, Medicare and Medicaid were billed approximately $13 million and paid out approximately $9 million in false claims.
Eight others have pleaded guilty for their respective roles including Mkrtich Yepremian, 61; Bompa Mbokoso Mompiere, 59; Michael Wayne Wilson, 49; Jermaine Doleman, 41; Harding Dudley Ross, 64; Eric Johnson, 64; Ann Marie Rocha, 51; and Eddie Wayne Taylor, 59, all of Houston. These defendants have all been sentenced.
This case was investigated by the FBI, HHS-OIG and the Texas Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. Trial Attorney Jason Knutson of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Suzanne Bradley formerly of the Southern District of Texas prosecuted the case.
The Criminal Division’s Fraud Section leads the Medicare Fraud Strike Force. Since its inception in March 2007, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, which maintains 14 strike forces operating in 23 districts, has charged nearly 4,000 defendants who have collectively billed the Medicare program for more than 14 billion.