Home Health Care Agency Owner Faces Serious Penalties for $22 Million Medicare Fraud Conspiracy
On Wednesday, October 8th, the former owner and manager of a Detroit-based home health care agency pleaded guilty in federal court for his role in a $22 million Medicare fraud conspiracy.
Usman Butt, 40, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit home health care fraud, and aiding or assisting in preparing fraudulent tax returns. Sentencing for the Medicare fraud guilty plea has been scheduled for January 13th.
Butt’s former business partner and co-conspirator also pleaded guilty to Medicare fraud conspiracy charges on August 20th.
According to court documents, Butt admitted that from 2008 to early 2013, he conspired to bill Medicare for home health care services that were not rendered, not medically necessary, and procured through paying illegal kickbacks. Specifically, the home health care services provided by Prestige Home Health Services Inc, in Troy, Michigan, and Royal Home Health Care Inc, of Clawson, Michigan, were not medically necessary or rendered. He also admitted that he fabricated patient files to give a false appearance that the services were medically necessary and that the company followed through on providing them.
Over the course of the Medicare fraud scheme, the Medicare program was defrauded of $12,607,262 by Butt’s false claims alone. The whole Medicare fraud scheme cost the federal program $22 million.
Federal charges of defrauding the government and conspiracy to defraud the government are very serious. However, in Butt’s case, none of the prosecutors have yet mentioned how much prison time they have requested.
Whistleblower Protections and Medicare Fraud Claims
“Qui Tam” are the first words of a Latin clause referring to the plaintiff as “one who sues as much for the state as for himself or herself.”
It is a provision of the Federal Civil False Claims Act that allows a private citizen to file a suit, in the name of the U.S. Government, charging fraud by government contractors and other entities that receive or use government funds. Bolstered by amendments passed by Congress in 1986, the law has armed private citizens who have independent and direct knowledge of fraud, whether financial institution fraud or Medicare fraud, with a weapon to prosecute government contractors and others who are defrauding the Government.
Common whistleblower actions include:
- Medicare fraud,
- defense contractor fraud, and
- other kinds of fraud against state or federal government
Qui tam lawsuits have been, and continue to be, a very effective and successful tool in combating government procurement and program fraud.
The Strom Law Firm Can Help Protect Medicare Fraud Whistleblowers with the False Claims Act
If you are personally aware of a fraud that has been committed by your current or former employer, a competitor or otherwise, from tax evasion to Medicare fraud, contact the Qui Tam attorneys at the Strom Law Firm today for a no cost consultation to discuss the facts of your case and whether filing a qui tam may be appropriate. We understand the complexity of the False Claims Act, and can help you with your case. We offer free, confidential consultations so contact us for help today. 803.252.4800