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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of New Jersey

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Trenton and Delran-Based Doctor Charged with Fraudulently Billing Medicaid and Medicare for Treating Patients while He was Out of State

NEWARK, N.J. – A doctor based in Trenton and Delran, New Jersey, was charged today with health care fraud for billing Medicaid and Medicare for in-person services during periods when he was traveling out of state, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Vedat Obuz, 54, of Merion Station, Pennsylvania, is charged by complaint with one count of health care fraud. Obuz made his initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Joseph A. Dickson in Newark federal court and was released on $100,000 unsecured bond.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

Between July 2014 and October 2018, Obuz billed Medicaid for $358,779 and Medicare for $57,396 for patient care that took place when he was traveling and was not present at his medical practice. The medical codes used in the billings indicated that Obuz was the treating physician and the services billed for required him to be physically present to see the patients.

For example, travel records show Obuz was in Tel Aviv, Israel, from Nov. 1-6, 2017. On Nov. 2-4, 2017, Obuz billed Medicare and Medicaid $4,660 for treating approximately 30 patients. Travel records show Obuz was in Istanbul, Turkey, from April 18-22, 2018. On April 19-21, 2018, he billed Medicare and Medicaid $7,770 for treating 53 patients.

The health care fraud count carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Scott Lampert; the FBI’s South Jersey Resident Agency, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael Harpster in Philadelphia; and the Camden County Police Department, under the direction of Chief J. Scott Thomson, with the investigation leading to today’s charges.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sara F. Merin of the Health Care and Government Fraud Unit of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Newark.

The charge and allegations in the complaint are merely accusations, and defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Defense counsel: Ernest E. Badway Esq., Morristown, New Jersey

Topic(s): 
Health Care Fraud
Component(s): 
Press Release Number: 
19-153
Updated May 30, 2019