Sebastian Ahmed of Delray Beach has been convicted for his alleged involvement in a fraud scheme that exploited vulnerable drug addicts for kickback arrangements that enabled him and his alleged co-conspirators to make millions.
Ahmed, 42, was convicted of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and wire fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, health care fraud, and money laundering. Attorney information wasn’t available.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida, Ahmed was the CEO, CFO, and president of Arnica Health and two drug abuse treatment centers: Medi MD and Jacob’s Well. He operated the three clinics from June 2016 to May 2019 and allegedly netted more than $2.8 million using illegal kickbacks during that period.
He is accused of engaging in illegal billing to private insurance plans, billing patients for medically unnecessary therapeutic services, and providing unlawful inducements consisting of free vapes, housing, airline travel, cash, and more from approximately 500 patients. Ahmed’s patients were mainly young adults in their 20s who were addicted to opioids and other drugs. Many of them were purportedly on their parents’ private insurance plans, on which they can legally stay until age 26 thanks to the Affordable Care Act.
Court records state that the patients were permitted to reside in co-ed housing where destructive sexual relationships—sometimes between patients and staff—formed. The patients resided in a series of sober homes maintained by Ahmed in Davie, Hollywood, Southwest Ranches, and Pompano. None of these homes were certified by the Department of Children and Families (DCF) as approved community housing for persons undergoing rehabilitation.
From June 2016 through May 2019, the government attributed approximately $38 million in fraudulent billing submitted by Ahmed’s clinics which resulted in the reimbursement of over $6 million in payments. At the time of writing, it was not clear how the investigation into the case took place, nor is it known how many of Ahmed’s patients came forward to talk to authorities about the alleged scheme.
The co-conspirators named in this case are Ahmed’s brother, Ali Ahmed, who worked as the COO and served as co-owner of the facilities; and Hector Alvarez and Mauren Morel, the clinical directors. At this time, it is not known if anyone else will be charged. It is likewise unclear if steps have been taken to care for Ahmed’s former patients.
Ahmed’s sentencing is scheduled for August 6. He faces a statutory maximum of 20 years for each count of health care fraud and wire fraud conspiracy, and money laundering conspiracy. He faces an additional maximum statutory sentence of 10 years for each count of health care fraud and money laundering.
Health care fraud is one of the most prosecuted crimes in Florida. Anyone being investigated of health care fraud in Florida should immediately contact an experienced attorney who can review the case and propose the best course of action.
South Florida Health Care Fraud Attorney