New York Doctor Sentenced to 13 Years in Prison for Multi-Million Dollar Health Care Fraud
Earlier today, in federal court in Brooklyn, Dr. Syed Imran Ahmed, a licensed medical doctor who practiced at hospitals in Brooklyn and on Long Island, was sentenced by United States Chief Judge Dora L. Irizarry of the Eastern District of New York to 13 years’ imprisonment for submitting millions of dollars in false and fraudulent claims to Medicare. The Court also ordered Dr. Ahmed to pay $7,266,008.95 in restitution, to forfeit $7,266,008.95, and to pay a $20,000 fine. Dr. Ahmed was convicted by a federal jury after an 11-day trial of one count of health care fraud, three counts of making false statements related to health care matters, and two counts of money laundering.
Richard P. Donoghue, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, John P. Cronan, Acting Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, William F. Sweeney, Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI), and Scott J. Lampert, Special Agent-in-Charge, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (HHS OIG) Office of Investigations, New York Region, announced the sentence.
“Dr. Syed Ahmed treated Medicare like a personal piggy bank, stealing over $7.2 million by making fraudulent claims for medical procedures he never performed,” stated United States Attorney Donoghue. “Dr. Ahmed will now pay the price for violating the trust that Medicare places in doctors. His 13-year prison sentence and the heavy payments imposed should send a powerful message of deterrence to other medical professionals who would seek to defraud vital taxpayer-funded programs like Medicare for personal enrichment. This Office, together with our law enforcement partners, will remain vigilant in rooting out health care fraud.”
“Medicare is a crucial program for many of the most vulnerable people in our society – American seniors and those with disabilities,” stated Acting Assistant Attorney General Cronan. “In this case, Syed Ahmed put his own greed ahead of the trust we put in our medical professionals, draining over $7 million in precious funding from our Medicare program. His conviction and the sentence imposed in this case demonstrate the Department of Justice’s unwavering commitment to protecting public funds and the integrity of our health care system.”
“Health care fraud is often billed as a victimless crime, but that couldn’t be further from the truth,” stated FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Sweeney. “Someone is always left to foot the bill. Insurers, the insured, and others are the ones who pay the price. Those who employ these schemes will most certainly be brought to justice, as we’ve proven here today.”
“The fraud scheme that Dr. Ahmed engaged in was motivated by pure greed,” stated HHS OIG Special Agent-in-Charge Lampert. “HHS OIG and our law enforcement partners will continue to aggressively pursue all those who seek to unlawfully enrich themselves by victimizing participants of the Medicare program.”
According to evidence presented at trial, Dr. Ahmed, a surgeon who practiced at Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center and Wyckoff Heights Medical Center in Brooklyn, Franklin Hospital in Valley Stream, and Mercy Medical Center in Rockville Centre, New York, billed the Medicare program for incision-and-drainage and wound debridement procedures that he did not perform. Dr. Ahmed wrote out lists of phony surgeries and sent the lists to his billing company in Michigan, with instructions that the procedures be billed to Medicare. Dr. Ahmed also directed that the surgeries be billed as though they had taken place in an operating room in order to increase the payout for the fraudulent scheme. The evidence introduced at trial showed that Medicare paid over $7 million to Dr. Ahmed for his fraudulent claims.
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 New York. Assistant U.S. Attorney F. Turner Buford, formerly a Fraud Section trial attorney, Senior Litigation Counsel Patricia Notopoulos of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, and Trial Attorney Debra Jaroslawicz of the Fraud Section are prosecuting the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Karin Orenstein of the Office’s Civil Division is responsible for the forfeiture of assets.
Syed Imran Ahmed
Residence: Glen Head, New York
E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 14-CR-277 (DLI)