Jury Convicts Seven in Houston for Multi-Million Dollar Medicare Fraud
A federal jury in Houston, TX convicted seven defendants on Medicare fraud charges on Wednesday, March 12th. The defendants allegedly cost the Medicare program $97 million.
The defendants were two owners of a now-defunct mental healthcare facility, Spectrum Care PA, as well as several former employees of various group care homes that participated in the Medicare fraud. Physicians Mansour Sanjar, 81, and Cyrus Sajadi, 66, the owners of Spectrum, were convicted on Medicare fraud charges including conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud and conspiracy to pay kickbacks, as well as multiple related counts of healthcare fraud and paying illegal kickbacks.
The other defendants were convicted on healthcare and Medicare fraud charges: Adam Main, 33, a physician’s assistant, was convicted of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and related counts of health care fraud; Shokoufeh Hakimi, 66, administrator of Spectrum, was convicted of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, conspiracy to pay kickbacks and a related count of paying an illegal kickback; Chandra Nunn, 35, a group home owner, was also convicted of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, conspiracy to pay and receive kickbacks and related counts of receiving illegal kickbacks; Sharonda Holmes, 40, a patient recruiter, was convicted of conspiracy to pay and receive kickbacks and a related count of receiving an illegal kickback; Shawn Manney, 51, a group home owner, was convicted of conspiracy to pay and receive illegal kickbacks.
According to the court documents, Sajadi and Sanjar began committing Medicare fraud in 2006, and continued until they were arrested in December 2011. Their company, Spectrum, should have provided partial hospitalization program (PHP) services, which is a form of intense treatment for serious mental illness. However, the patients accepted by the two owners did not technically qualify for these services, which led them to overbill Medicare for unwarranted treatment.
The two owners also billed Medicare for services not provided, and paid kickbacks to employees at other facilities so that they would have a steady stream of patients.
Sanjar, Sajadi and Nunn are scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 8, 2014. Main, Hakimi, Holmes and Manney are scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 15, 2014.
The Strom Law Firm Protects Medicare Fraud Whistleblowers in South Carolina
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 whistle blower actions include:
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- 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. If you have first-hand knowledge of government fraud occurring at your place of employment or your doctor’s office, including Medicare fraud, the attorneys at the Strom Law Firm can help protect your rights. In order to help the government provide the best possible services, Medicaid and Medicare fraud must be reported as soon as possible. The attorneys at the Strom Law Firm understand the complexity of qui tam and whistleblower suits, and we offer free, confidential consultations to discuss the facts of your case. Contact us today. 803.252.4800