Healthcare Fraud Investigations Are on the Rise

There has been a recent increase in arrests and prosecutions for health care fraud in Florida as a result of increased law enforcement efforts in investigating these crimes. Healthcare fraud largely involves medical providers committing fraudulent billing practices to increase their profits, including submitting charges for reimbursement to insurance companies, Medicare, and Medicaid for services that weren’t provided. Additional investigations include accepting illegal kickbacks for patient referrals and billing insurance companies under incorrect billing codes to increase the payments received.

On July 31, 2017, seventy-seven people were arrested in Florida for their involvement in various health care fraud schemes that totaled over $141 million dollars in fraudulent billing. These arrests were part of a larger investigation by the Medicare Fraud Strike Taskforce that resulted in 412 individuals facing charges for over $1.3 billion in false billings. These investigations involved a multi-agency effort, involving local law enforcement, the FBI, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, and the Florida Attorney General’s Office.

In one white-collar crime case that resulted from this investigation, Eric Snyder, owner of Halfway There Florida, LLC, and Real Life Recovery Delray, LLC, and patient broker Christopher Fuller, both of Palm Beach County, Florida, were charged with conspiracy to commit health care fraud. The two were alleged to be involved in a scheme to illegally recruit patients, pay illegal kickbacks, and commit health insurance fraud. The scheme involved providing kickbacks or bribes to get individuals to reside in their residential facility if the patients also agreed to participate in therapy sessions and frequent drug screenings they could later bill for. Fraudulent billings were alleged to have been submitted for services never provided, including services provided to residents who were no longer participating in the program and therapy sessions that were never attended. Services were alleged to have been provided by non-licensed and unqualified employees with licensed professionals then signing off as if they had performed the services themselves. Drug screens were also alleged to have been tampered with to send the samples to more than one lab, or bill for one drug screen multiple times to generate a larger profit.

On February 13, 2018, Mahmoud Rahim, M.D., of West Bloomfield, Michigan was convicted of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and wire fraud, committing wire fraud, and conspiracy to and receiving health care kickbacks for his role in a $10.4 million conspiracy to defraud Medicare. He was sentenced to 72 months in prison, required to forfeit over $1.6 million, and will be required to pay restitution. The office manager, Janet Nahkle, was also convicted of conspiracy to receive health care kickbacks and sentenced to 18 months in prison.

Not only can a provider charged with health care fraud face incarceration and heavy fines, but it can also cost them their professional license and livelihood. Anyone under investigation or charged with health care fraud should contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible.

Client Reviews

I would like thank my attorney Thomas Luka. I knew from the beginning I had the right guy in my corner. While celebrating with family and friends at a Public Park in Seminole County, a fight broke out among various people. Myself, and a good friend, broke up the fight and the instigators left. Six months later, I was wrongly accused as the person who started the fight. The first attorney I hired could not even get a response from the State Attorney handling the case. Someone referred me to Tom and I felt comfortable at his demeanor and reactions.

After conversations with Tom, who knew I would settle for nothing less than a FULL DISMISSAL due to my innocence, I hired him. His firm of Adams and Luka did the due diligence by interviewing witnesses and the police who were on the scene, as well as starting a dialogue with the State Attorney. After gathering statements from witnesses, Tom was able to present a strong argument on my behalf to the State Attorney on why the case should be dismissed. If the State Attorney was not willing to dismiss the case, Tom was ready to take the case to trial.

The result by Thomas Luka: Case Dismissed.

I am 53 years old with a spotless record and glad to keep it that way thanks to the time, effort, hard work, and professionalism of the Adams and Luka and Tom Luka.

Earl from Mesquite
Thomas Luka left a life-long great impression of lawyers. He was always professional, on time, and answered things honestly. From the start and during the 14 months it went on - Tom was very upfront and honest with me about the possible outcomes. The result was better than I had hoped for. Tom really over-delivered. HIGHLY RECCOMEND. Marcela Giorgi
Adams and Luka were very professional and savvy in the courtroom. When you're in court with Mr. Luka you will think you have the best attorney there. I recommend this law firm. Pioneer Tech
Rich Adams is an outstanding criminal attorney. I have had the opportunity to refer several friends and clients to his practice for handling of criminal matters, and on every occasion he has produced an excellent result. Rich practices with attention to detail, a thorough knowledge of the law, and a passion to defend his clients. I will continue to refer clients to Rich Adams, and would strongly recommend him for your legal needs. Brian Pink
Contact Information