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Justice News

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

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Pittsford Psychistrist Going To Federal Prison For Bilking Hundreds Of Thousands Of Dollars From Health Care Benefit Programs

CONTACT: Barbara Burns
PHONE: (716) 843-5817
FAX #: (716) 551-3051

ROCHESTER, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Muhammad Cheema, MD, 47, of Pittsford, NY, who was convicted of health care fraud, was sentenced to serve 18 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Charles J. Siragusa. The defendant was also to pay restitution totaling $813,495.48 to the victim health care benefit programs that he defrauded.

Assistant U.S. Attorney John J. Field, who handled the case, stated that between 2013 and 2017, Dr. Cheema submitted approximately 5,000 false claims for psychotherapy services that he did not render. Based on these false claims, the defendant obtained payments totaling approximately $218,368 from health care benefit programs, including those operated by Excellus, MPV and others. In addition, from time to time, in response to audits and otherwise, Cheema created false medical records in an effort to substantiate his fraudulent billings and conceal his scheme.

The sentencing is the result of an investigation by Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Stephen Belongia, and investigators from the New York State Department of Financial Services-Criminal Investigation Bureau, under the direction of Superintendent Linda Lacewell.

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Financial Fraud
Updated December 10, 2020