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Dix Hills Resident Among 8 Charged With Healthcare Fraud

; Author Pam Robinson

A Dix Hills man is one of eight people charged  with committing healthcare fraud, the US attorney for the eastern district said Tuesday.

The eight face a variety of federal charges, including conspiracy to commit health care fraud, health care fraud, conspiracy to defraud the United States and pay health care kickbacks, paying health care kickbacks, and money laundering.

Charged were: Mohammed Saleem, 38 of Dix Hills, Noman Ahmed, 37, of Port Jefferson Station, Adnan Arshad, 45, of Mount Sinai, Rehman Diwan, 24, of Hicksville, Jessica Hendrickson, 36, of Patchogue, Jose Marte, 33, of the Bronx, Faisal Shamsi, 49, of Massapequa and Waqas Shamsi, 44, also of Massapequa.

The defendants allegedly offered and paid health care kickbacks and submitted fraudulent claims to Medicaid for ambulette services to medical appointments that were not performed, or the costs were artificially inflated. All but Marte will be arraigned Tuesday afternoon before United States Magistrate Judge Arlene R. Lindsay. Marte will be arraigned Wednesday.

Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Naomi Gruchacz, Special Agent-in-Charge, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG), Thomas M. Fattorusso, Special Agent-in-Charge, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, New York, (IRS-CI), and Raymond A. Tierney, Suffolk County District Attorney, announced the arrests and charges.

“As alleged, the defendants abused the trust placed in them by Medicaid by falsely and brazenly treating this essential program like a piggy bank for their own enrichment,” Peace said. “Their transportation scam ended today with law enforcement providing the defendants a free ride to the courthouse to face serious criminal charges. My office will prosecute health care providers who steal from taxpayer-funded programs intended to help those in need.”

As set forth in court filings, the defendants owned, operated and were employees of several transportation companies. From December 2020 to the present, the defendants paid illegal health care kickbacks to beneficiaries so that those beneficiaries would order medical services specifically from the defendants, which generally included transportation to addiction treatment centers for the beneficiaries’ purportedly necessary methadone treatment.

The defendants generally did not provide the medical transportation services ordered by the Medicaid beneficiaries. Yet in total, the defendants and their transportation companies – 668 MTK Taxi LLC, All-Star Taxi LLC, Apollo Transportation, Sunrise Taxi LLC, and Transportation Solution NY Corp. d/b/a A1 Transport – fraudulently billed Medicaid millions of dollars for these services throughout the course of the scheme. At least two claims were submitted to Medicare for individuals who were deceased, and some claims were submittedfor individuals who were hospitalized or incarcerated.

The defendants also submitted artificially inflated claims to Medicaid. Although there were numerous addiction treatment centers on Long Island  the beneficiaries could have utilized, the defendants instructed them to order rides to addiction treatment centers in New York City and to list false addresses so they could obtain higher reimbursement rates from Medicaid for longer rides.

The transportation companies owned or operated by the defendants billed Medicaid over $16 million for trips to just three addiction treatment centers in New York City.

The defendants Adnan Arshad and Mohammed Saleem used the illicit proceeds of the schemes to purchase approximately 15 additional transport vehicles for use in the scheme and to purchase multimillion-dollar homes and luxury vehicles.