Owners of Detroit-Area Home Health Agency Plead Guilty to Health Care Fraud Conspiracy
WASHINGTON—The founders and owners of a Detroit-area home health agency pleaded guilty today in federal district court for their roles in a nearly $1 million home health care fraud scheme.
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 Paul M. Abbate of the FBI’s Detroit Field Office and Special Agent in Charge Lamont Pugh III of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General’s (HHS-OIG) Chicago Regional Office made the announcement.
Attaullah Arain, 47, and Nadia Arain, 41, both of Brownstown, Michigan, pleaded guilty before Senior U.S. District Judge Arthur J. Tarnow in the Eastern District of Michigan to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud. The sentencing hearings are set for Feb. 17, 2015.
In their plea agreements, Attaullah and Nadia Arain admitted that beginning in 2008 and continuing until September 2012, they conspired with others to commit health care fraud by billing Medicare for home health care services that were not actually rendered, not medically necessary, or where the referrals for those services had been obtained through the payment of illegal kickbacks.
As part of the conspiracy, Nadia Arain admitted that she incorporated a home health agency known as Angle’s Touch Home Health Care LLC (Angle’s Touch) in Taylor, Michigan. Both defendants admitted that they wrote checks and provided cash kickbacks to recruiters who obtained Medicare beneficiary information needed to bill Medicare for home health care that was never rendered or was not medically necessary. They also admitted that they knew that information in Angle’s Touch patient files was used to support the false claims to Medicare and falsely documented services as being provided and medically necessary when, in fact, they were not.
The defendants admitted that as a result of their fraudulent conduct, they were paid approximately $952,913.27 by Medicare for fraudulent claims.
This case was investigated by the FBI and HHS-OIG and 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. This case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Niall M. O’Donnell, John Borchert, and Aisling O’Shea of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section.
Since its inception in March 2007, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, now operating in nine cities across the country, has charged nearly 2,000 defendants who have collectively billed the Medicare program for more than $6 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.