The co-owner of a Detroit home health care company was sentenced today to 96 months in prison for his role in a Medicare fraud scheme that caused approximately $33 million in losses.
Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade of the Eastern District of Michigan, Special Agent in Charge David P. Gelios of the FBI’s Detroit Division and Special Agent in Charge Lamont Pugh III of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services-Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG) Chicago Regional Office made the announcement.
Badar Ahmadani, 49, of Ypsilanti, Michigan, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Judith E. Levy of the Eastern District of Michigan, who also ordered him to pay $38,150,113.64 in restitution. On July 27, 2015, Ahmadani was convicted at trial of one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and one count of conspiracy to pay and receive health care kickbacks.
According to evidence presented at trial, Ahmadani participated in a scheme in which from 2006 through 2011, he and his co-conspirators obtained patients by paying cash kickbacks to recruiters, who in turn paid cash to patients to induce them to sign up for home health care with companies owned by co-defendant Zafar Mehmood: Access Care Home Care Inc., Patient Care Home Care Inc., Hands On Healing Home Care Inc. (which Ahmadani co-owned) and All State Home Care Inc. The evidence also showed that Mehmood and Ahmadani paid kickbacks to physicians to refer patients to the companies for home health care services that were medically unnecessary as well as not provided.
On Oct. 28, 2016, Mehmood was sentenced to serve 360 months in prison and to pay $40,488,106.98 in restitution. Mehmood was convicted at trial with Ahmadani of one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, four counts of health care fraud, one count of conspiracy to pay and receive health care kickbacks, one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, two counts of money laundering and two counts of obstruction of justice.
The FBI and HHS-OIG investigated the case, which was brought as part of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, supervised by the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Michigan. Fraud Section Trial Attorneys Niall M. O’Donnell and A. Brendan Stewart prosecuted the case.
Since its inception in March 2007, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, now operating in nine cities across the country, has charged nearly 2,900 defendants who have collectively billed the Medicare program for more than $10 billion. In addition, the HHS Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, working in conjunction with the HHS-OIG, are taking steps to increase accountability and decrease the presence of fraudulent providers.
To learn more about the Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team (HEAT), go to www.stopmedicarefraud.gov.