Couple Sentenced for More Than $1 Million in Health Care Fraud
Case is part of Largest National Health Care Fraud Sweep in History
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Riyad Altallaa, 52, and Muna Alnoubani, 50, both of Hilliard, were each sentenced in U.S. District Court today for conspiracy to commit health care fraud. Altallaa was sentenced to 48 months in prison and Alnoubani was sentenced to 36 months of probation.
The case was charged in 2016 as part of an unprecedented nationwide sweep led by the Medicare Fraud Strike Force in 36 federal districts, resulting in criminal and civil charges against 300 individuals, including 61 doctors, nurses and other medical professionals, for their alleged participation in health care fraud schemes involving approximately $900 million in false billings.
Benjamin C. Glassman, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, Lamont Pugh, Special Agent in Charge, Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG), Angela L. Byers, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Cincinnati Division, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and Ryan L. Korner, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Criminal Investigation, announced the sentences handed down today by Chief U.S. District Judge Edmund A. Sargus, Jr.
According to court documents, Altallaa and Alnoubani were owners of Columbus Home Health Care Services, LLC. The couple executed a fraud scheme in order to minimize expenses and maximize profits by fabricating aide training records to avoid the time and expense of training and to give the appearance that aides had completed the required training and were prepared to provide home health services to Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries.
The defendants also had aides and nurses submit blank time sheets and nursing notes that the defendants completed with falsely inflated hours of service.
Finally, they had aides and nurses “split” their shifts on their timesheets and nursing notes to make it appear that services were provided in multiple shifts rather than one shift. Under Medicaid’s reimbursement policy, the initial hour of each shift is reimbursed at a rate that is approximately double the rate of subsequent hours.
The couple used the fraud money to build a luxurious, $1 million home in Hilliard. As part of their plea agreements, they will forfeit that home. Each of the defendants pleaded guilty in June 2016 to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud.
U.S. Attorney Glassman commended the investigation of this case by the FBI, HHS-OIG Ohio Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and IRS Criminal Investigation, as well as Assistant United States Attorney Kenneth Affeldt and Special Assistant United States Attorney Maritsa Flaherty, who are representing the United States in this case.
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