4 charged in $32M healthcare false claims scheme

Four individuals, including a medical director, operator and two unlicensed clinicians, at a Texas medical clinic were arrested in connection with a nearly $32 million healthcare fraud scheme, the U.S. Justice Department said March 2. 

Arrested were Farrah Forough Farizani, DO, the medical director of Hillcroft Physicians; Hamid Reza Razavi, the operator of Hillcroft Physicians; and former unlicensed practitioners Elie Hanna Hajjar and Juan Acuña.

Prosecutors charged all four with one count of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud, and Dr. Farizani, Mr. Razavi and Ms. Hajjar were charged with five counts of making false healthcare statements.

Prosecutors allege that the defendants submitted false claims to Medicare and Medicaid for services that were not provided as billed or were not provided by a licensed and enrolled provider. 

According to the indictment, Dr. Farizani and Mr. Razavi directed the other defendants to pose as licensed medical professionals. The indictment alleges they diagnosed, treated, referred and prescribed drugs to patients. 

The medical director and operator also directed the Hillcroft Physicians' billing staff to submit false claims to the government insurers as if Dr. Farizani treated the patients, even in scenarios when Dr. Farizani was out of the country, prosecutors said.

The indictment alleges the defendants submitted about $31 million in claims to Medicaid and $600,000 in claims to Medicare.


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