Ohio Doctor Charged with Health Care Fraud
|U.S. Attorney’s Office December 24, 2009|
Steven M. Dettelbach, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, announced today that, on Wednesday, December 23, 2009, Dr. Hany M. Iskander, age 48, of Powell, Ohio, entered a plea of guilty to an information charging him with one count of Health Care Fraud before United States District Court Judge Solomon Oliver, Jr. in Cleveland, Ohio.
The Supplemental Information described how Dr. Iskander, a medical doctor who is an Egyptian national here on a work visa, executed a scheme to defraud Medicare, Medicaid, and other health care benefit programs through his pain management business located in Bucyrus, Ohio and Lewis Center, Ohio. The scheme involved millions of dollars of fraudulent claims for payment for medical services which were either not performed or which had no medical necessity to be performed.
The plea of guilty to the health care fraud charges follows the convictions of Iskander and his wife, Evat Hanna, who, on October 2, 2009, were both found guilty of obstruction of justice by shredding and concealing medical records to impede a federal investigation. Pursuant to a plea agreement, Dr. Iskander entered a plea of guilty to the Health Care Fraud charges and agreed to be sentenced to both the Health Care Fraud charge and the obstruction of justice convictions at the same time.
As a part of the plea agreement, Dr. Iskander agreed to forfeit nearly seven million dollars which the government intends to use as restitution to the defrauded health care programs. In addition, Dr. Iskander agreed to serve at least 51 months' imprisonment to be determined at sentencing by Judge Oliver at a hearing set for February 2, 2010. Iskander also agreed to forfeit his medical license and to be deported to Egypt following his release from prison.
The government has entered into an agreement with Iskander’s wife, Evat Hanna, pertaining to her conviction on the obstruction charges in which the government has agreed to recommend a sentence of home detention for her for one year, following which she will also be deported.
United States Attorney Steven M. Dettelbach stated that the case represents the kind of aggressive prosecutions pursued by the Department of Justice in cases involving health care fraud, especially when confronted with those rare cases involving dishonest physicians. Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray stated that it is critical to the well being of the health care system in this country that we weed out fraud and abuse. He went on to state that this case demonstrates not only the scope of the problem but also the commitment and cooperation of state and federal authorities needed to pursue such cases.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Rebecca Lutzko and James C. Lynch, following an investigation by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, Cleveland, Ohio; the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Cleveland, Ohio and Mansfield, Ohio; and the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, Office of the Attorney General, State of Ohio.