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Press Release

Rochester Area Psychiatrist Guilty Of Health Care Fraud

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of New York

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, pleaded guilty to health care fraud before U.S. District Judge Charles J. Siragusa. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney John J. Field, who is handling 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.

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

Sentencing is scheduled for October 6, 2020, at 9:15 a.m. before Judge Siragusa.

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Updated June 18, 2020

Health Care Fraud