NEWARK, N.J. – A Florida man today admitted his role in a multimillion-dollar durable medical equipment (DME) kickback scheme, Attorney for the United States Vikas Khanna, District of New Jersey, and U.S. Attorney Markenzy Lapointe, Southern District of Florida, announced.
Kareem Memon, 34, of Coral Springs, Florida, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Court Judge Raag Singhal in the Southern District of Florida to an information charging him with one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and one count of conspiracy to violate the federal Anti-Kickback Statute.
According to documents filed in the case and statements made in court:
Memon and his conspirators owned and operated marketing call centers and telemedicine companies through which they obtained doctors’ orders for DME for Medicare beneficiaries without regard to medical necessity. Memon and his conspirators provided doctors’ orders in exchange for bribes from DME companies that provided the braces to Medicare beneficiaries. Memon and his conspirators caused losses to Medicare in excess of $11 million.
On Sept. 21, 2023, Memon pleaded guilty to wire fraud, money laundering, and felon in possession charges in a separate case before Judge Singhal. Memon submitted fraudulent loan applications seeking more than $451,000 in forgivable Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) and Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans guaranteed by the Small Business Administration (SBA) under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and used those funds for personal gains. At the time of Memon’s arrest he was a felon and found to be unlawfully in possession of an arsenal of 12 firearms and ammunition.
The health care fraud conspiracy charge is punishable by a maximum of 10 years in prison and the kickback conspiracy charge is punishable by a maximum of five years in prison. Both charges are also punishable by a fine of $250,000, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense, whichever is greatest. Sentencing is scheduled for March 26, 2024.
Attorney for the United States Khanna and U.S. Attorney Lapointe credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge James E. Dennehy in Newark and Acting Special Agent in Charge is Maged Behnam in Miami, Florida; the Department of Health and Human Services-Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Naomi Gruchacz; the U.S. Department of Defense, Office of the Inspector General, Defense Criminal Investigative Service, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Brian J. Solecki; and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Christopher F. Algieri with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Specht of District of New Jersey and Assistant U.S. Attorney Robin Waugh of the Southern District of Florida.