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Arizona U.S. Attorney’s Office Announces Charges in Multiple Fraud Cases Related to COVID-19

online-marketing-hIgeoQjS_iE-unsplash-300x169The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona unsealed three criminal complaints charging multiple individuals with health care fraud associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The first complaint charges Jeremiah Faber, 45, of Gold Canyon with one count of health care fraud and one count of money laundering. It is unclear if he has acquired the services of an attorney.

The Gold Canyon man is the CEO of Harmony Healthcare, LLC. He allegedly used his company’s social media pages to offer free COVID-19 testing if patients completed Harmony’s “Comprehensive Whole-Body Assessment.” Harmony then fraudulently submitted claims for reimbursement to Mercy Care, Arizona’s health care benefit program.

The other complaints charge six individuals associated with five Phoenix-area businesses that claimed to provide non-emergency medical transportation services in the Navajo Nation.

One complaint charges Abdul Raheem Abdul Jabbar, Abedelhalim Lawabni, and Nohad Loabneh with conspiring to commit health care fraud by falsely billing Arizona’s Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) for services they never provided. AHCCCS is Arizona’s Medicaid agency, which offers healthcare programs to low-income residents.

The trio is accused of charging AHCCCS for more than 9,000 non-emergency medical transports in April 2020 that never actually happened. The need for non-emergency medical transports dramatically decreased in April after Gov. Doug Ducey and Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez both declared the coronavirus a public emergency, the complaint states.

Through the alleged fraud scheme, the three generated a total of more than $2.75 million in fraudulent payments from AHCCCS to their businesses, according to the complaint. This group was reportedly operated Freedom AZ, LLC, and A&N Services.

The last complaint charges Husam Alsadi, Miguel Denga, and Tamarria Denga with conspiring to commit health care fraud; it alleges that the accused men falsely billed AHCCCS for more than 1,500 non-emergency medical transports in April 2020. Records indicate those transports never occurred because of the COVID-19 public emergency.

The triad generated more than $450,000 in fraudulent payments from AHCCCS for their businesses. The two operate Philia Homecare, LLC, and the other one operates COS 1, LLC.

“Fraudsters are using the uncertainty around COVID-19 to line their pockets,” said Sean Kaul, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Phoenix Field Office. “Thanks to the diligent work of Arizona’s COVID-19 Fraud Task Force, the FBI identified and dismantled fraud rings in Arizona which were trying to exploit the COVID-19 pandemic. Make no mistake, the FBI will actively pursue those seeking to fraudulently profit from the pandemic.”

All seven defendants are scheduled to make their initial court appearances in June 2020. In its press release announcing the charges, the U.S. Attorney’s Office noted that a complaint is not an inference of guilt. All named individuals are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

If you or someone you care about is accused of healthcare fraud, it is crucial that you consult an experienced health care fraud attorney who can help to protect your rights and explain what legal recourse could be available in your situation.

South Florida Health Care Fraud Attorney

Have you been accused of health care fraud? Contact Brian Silber, P.A. for a free initial consultation with one of South Florida’s most experienced health care fraud attorneys.

Source: 5.27.20 US attorney’s office announces charges in fraud cases related to coronavirus.pdf

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