United States Attorney's Office Announces Charges in Fraud Cases Related to COVID-19
PHOENIX, Ariz. – The United States Attorney’s Office unsealed three criminal complaints filed in Federal District Court charging multiple individuals with health care fraud associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Now more than ever, the integrity of our healthcare system is paramount as we fight a global pandemic,” said United States Attorney Michael Bailey. “We remain committed to rooting out and prosecuting any individual who would use this crisis as an opportunity to defraud individuals or the government.”
One complaint charges Jeremiah Faber, 45, of Gold Canyon, Arizona, the CEO of Harmony Healthcare, LLC dba Harmony Medical Care, with one count of health care fraud and one count of money laundering. The complaint alleges that Faber used Harmony’s Facebook and other social media sources to offer free COVID-19 testing if patients also completed Harmony’s Comprehensive Whole-Body Assessment. Harmony then fraudulently submitted claims for reimbursement to Mercy Care, Arizona’s health care benefit program, by billing for services that were medically unnecessary and for services provided in the names of physicians who had no role in the assessment.
Two other complaints charge a total of six individuals associated with five Phoenix-area businesses that purport to provide non-emergency medical transportation services on the Navajo Nation. The first complaint charges Abdul Raheem Abdul Jabbar, Nohad Loabneh, and Abedelhalim Lawabni with conspiring to commit health care fraud. The complaint alleges that Abdul Jabbar, Loabneh, and Lawabni falsely billed Arizona’s Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) for more than 9,000 non-emergency medical transports in April 2020 when those transports never occurred. After the Arizona Governor and the President of the Navajo Nation both declared COVID-19 public emergencies, the need for non-emergency medical transports dramatically decreased. The complaint further alleges that their false billings in April 2020 generated a total of more than $2.75 million in fraudulent payments from AHCCCS to the three businesses. AHCCCS is Arizona’s Medicaid agency, offering health care programs to low-income Arizona residents. Loabneh, and Lawabni own and operate A&N Services, LLC. Abdul Jabbar owns and operates Freedom AZ, LLC, and is also affiliated with Desert Mobile, LLC.
The second complaint charges Miguel Denga, Husam Alsadi, and Tamarria Denga with conspiring to commit health care fraud. The complaint alleges that Alsadi and the Dengas falsely billed AHCCCS for more than 1,500 non-emergency medical transports in April 2020 when those transports never occurred. As noted above, after the Governor of Arizona and the President of the Navajo Nation both declared COVID-19 public emergencies, the need for non-emergency medical transports dramatically decreased. The complaint further alleges that their false billings in April 2020 generated a total of more than $450,000 in fraudulent payments from AHCCCS to the two businesses. Miguel Denga and Alsadi own and operate Philia Homecare, LLC. Tamarria Denga owns and operates COS 1, LLC.
“Fraudsters are using the uncertainty around COVID-19 to line their pockets,” said Sean Kaul, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Phoenix Field Office. “Thanks to the diligent work of Arizona’s COVID-19 Fraud Task Force, the FBI identified and dismantled fraud rings in Arizona which were trying to exploit the COVID-19 pandemic. Make no mistake, the FBI will actively pursue those seeking to fraudulently profit from the pandemic. The FBI thanks the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General (HHS-OIG), and the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System Office of the Inspector General (AHCCCS-OIG) for their partnerships and collaboration on these cases. Their work was vital to these investigations.”
Jeremiah Faber is scheduled to make his initial appearance in court on June 30, 2020. The other six defendants are scheduled to make their initial appearances in court on June 11, 2020.
A complaint is simply the method by which a person is charged with criminal activity and raises no inference of guilt. Individuals are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
RELEASE NUMBER: 2020-053_COVID Fraud
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For more information on the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Arizona, visit http://www.justice.gov/usao/az
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