Defendant Sentenced In $1.8 Million Scheme To Defraud Kaiser Permanente
OAKLAND, Calif. – Asim Waqar, a former employee of Kaiser Permanente, headquartered in Oakland, California, was sentenced on Wednesday, February 20, 2013, to 33 months in prison and ordered to pay restitution in the amounts of $1,803,667 to Kaiser and $142,530 to the United States Treasury for his guilty pleas to the conspiracy to commit wire fraud and tax evasion, United States Attorney Melinda Haag announced.
According to court documents, Waqar was employed by Kaiser in 2005 as a manager working in Oakland, California. Waqar convinced his college friend, co-defendant Farid Rahman, and his wife, co-defendant Mina Kuhl, living in the Detroit, Michigan area, to join Waqar in a scheme to defraud Kaiser by encouraging Kaiser to hire Kuhl who would purportedly work from Michigan under Waqar’s supervision. In fact, once Kuhl was hired by Kaiser, Waqar would arrange for Kuhl to be paid without having to perform any work. With Waqar’s assistance, Kaiser hired Kuhl and between 2005 and 2008, when Kaiser Permanente management learned of the fraudulent scheme, Waqar had authorized payment of $1,803,667.84 to third party vendors for the employment of Kuhl. From the money paid to Kuhl, Kuhl and Rahman kicked back $428,300 to Waqar, who failed to pay federal taxes in the amount of $142,300 due on this income.
Waqar was placed on administrative leave on August 21, 2008 and resigned from Kaiser on September 4, 2008.
Waqar, 40, Farid Rahman, 44, and Minda Kuhl, 38, all of Windsor, Canada, were charged in a Superseding Information filed in this district on November 3, 2011, with the conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and Rahman and Waqar were also charged with tax violations. The charges against Kuhl and Rahman were transferred to the Eastern District of Michigan where they both pleaded guilty and were sentenced. Rahman received a sentence of 18 months in custody and Kuhl was sentenced to a year and 1 day in custody. Both defendants were ordered to pay restitution to Kaiser, jointly with Waqar.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick Hurford in the Eastern District of Michigan and Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Corrigan in the Northern District of California, with the assistance of Chief Legal Tech Kathleen Turner. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation.