Cardiologist Sentenced To Prison For Decade-Long Health Care Fraud Scheme
Asim Hameedi Provided False Patient Medical Information and Used Identities of Doctors Who Did Not Work at the Clinic to Submit Fraudulent Health Care Claims
Ilan T. Graff, the Attorney for the United States, Acting Under Authority Conferred by 28 U.S.C. § 515, announced today that cardiologist ASIM HAMEEDI was sentenced to 20 months in prison for orchestrating a widespread healthcare fraud scheme from approximately 2003 to 2015. HAMEEDI owned a Queens, New York, medical clinic, City Medical Associates (“CMA”), through which he perpetrated a fraud scheme involving, among other things, fraudulent reimbursement claims and false representations to insurers regarding medical tests and procedures. HAMEEDI previously pled guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud before U.S. District Judge John G. Koeltl, who imposed today’s sentence.
Mr. Graff said: “Doctors and medical clinics should be focused on their patients’ wellbeing, not on fraudulently lining their own pockets. Thanks to the dogged investigative work of our partners at the FBI, HHS, and NYPD, Asim Hameedi is headed to prison for defrauding Medicare, Medicaid, and private health insurance companies.”
According to the Indictment, other court filings, and statements made in public court proceedings:
CMA, a cardiology and neurology clinic based in Bayside, Queens, conducted a multifaceted scheme spanning approximately 12 years and involving millions of dollars in falsified claims. HAMEEDI, a board-certified interventional cardiologist, was CMA’s president and owner. As HAMEEDI has acknowledged, he was a leader of this long-running, wide-ranging fraud scheme, which involved various co-conspirators and several codefendants.
HAMEEDI’s healthcare fraud scheme included, among other things: (1) making false representations to insurance providers about patients’ symptoms in order to obtain preauthorization for medical tests and procedures; (2) backdating bills in order to create the false impression that medical procedures had not been performed until after CMA received “pre”-authorization from an insurer; (3) submitting false claims to insurance providers for parts of tests that were not performed, as well as for drug items not used or provided; (4) evading scrutiny from insurers for the large volume of claims that CMA submitted by falsely representing that several doctors – who did not work at CMA – had purportedly ordered or performed tests or procedures there; and (5) violating HIPAA by accessing, without authorization, electronic health records of patients at a particular hospital on Long Island, New York, in order to identify patients to be recruited to CMA. Additionally, HAMEEDI tried to obstruct an investigation by hospital officials into misconduct by his nephew, codefendant Fawad Hameedi.
In addition to his prison sentence, HAMEEDI, 50, of New York, New York, was sentenced to two years of supervised release, restitution of $554,331, and a $100,000 fine.
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Fawad Hameedi, 35, pled guilty on February 7, 2018, to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud.
Arif Hameedi, 59, pled guilty on February 6, 2018, to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.
Absar Haaris, 51, pled guilty on November 15, 2016, to conspiracy to commit health care fraud and wire fraud, health care fraud, false statements relating to health care matters, conspiracy to commit fraud in connection with identification information, aggravated identity theft, conspiracy to violate the anti-kickback statute, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and conspiracy to wrongfully obtain and disclose individually identifiable health information. Haaris was previously sentenced, by the Honorable Jed S. Rakoff, principally to time served, three years of supervised release, and restitution of $544,331.51.
Michelle Landoy, 40, pled guilty on January 29, 2018, to conspiracy to commit health care fraud and wire fraud, health care fraud, wire fraud, false statements relating to health care matters, conspiracy to commit fraud in connection with identification information, and aggravated identity theft.
Desiree Scott, 41, pled guilty on February 6, 2018, to conspiracy to commit health care fraud and wire fraud, health care fraud, wire fraud, false statements relating to health care matters, conspiracy to commit fraud in connection with identification information, and aggravated identity theft.
Mr. Graff praised the outstanding investigative work of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the New York Regional Office of the United States Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General, and the New York City Police Department. Mr. Graff also thanked the New York State Department of Financial Services.
The Office’s Complex Frauds and Cybercrime Unit is handling this criminal case. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael D. Neff, David M. Abramowicz, and Kristy J. Greenberg are in charge of the prosecution.