U.S. Attorney’s Office Files Civil Lawsuit Against New Jersey Doctor, Two Companies For Submitting Bogus Claims To Federal Health Care Programs
NEWARK, N.J. – U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced today that the government has filed a complaint against a Union County, New Jersey, doctor and his medical practice companies for knowingly submitting millions of dollars in false claims to Medicare and Medicaid for thousands of diagnostic tests that were never performed and for physical therapy services performed by unqualified personnel.
The civil complaint, filed today in Newark federal court, charges Dr. Labib E. Riachi, 47, of Westfield, New Jersey, and two companies that he owns and operates, Riachi, Inc. and Center for Advanced Pelvic Surgery, LLC, both based in Westfield, with violating the False Claims Act, among other illegal conduct.
According to the complaint:
The defendants routinely billed Medicare and Medicaid for anorectal manometry, an invasive diagnostic test, and electromyography, another diagnostic test, even though most of the tests were never performed. In addition, the defendants submitted claims to Medicare for physical therapy services that should not have been paid because they were not performed by a qualified therapist. This scheme resulted in millions of dollars of reimbursement that would not have been paid but for the defendants’ misconduct.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Andrew Campi in Newark, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Scott J. Lampert, with the investigation leading to the complaint.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Bernard J. Cooney and Lucy Muzzy of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Health Care and Government Fraud Unit in Newark.
U.S. Attorney Fishman reorganized the health care fraud practice at the New Jersey U.S. Attorney’s Office shortly after taking office, including creating a stand-alone Health Care and Government Fraud Unit to handle both criminal and civil investigations and prosecutions of health care fraud offenses. Since 2010, the office has recovered more than $640 million in health care fraud and government fraud settlements, judgments, fines, restitution and forfeiture under the False Claims Act, the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act and other statutes.
Defense counsel: Bruce Levy Esq. and Larry Lustberg Esq., Newark