Florida: Another ‘New American’ Doctor Charged, Rips US Off for Millions!

Some of the headlines call Moses deGraft-Johnson a “Tallahassee doctor,” but African media doesn’t pull punches and refers to him as a “Ghanaian doctor.”

This foreign doctor sure didn’t benefit the US economy as Michael Bloomberg’s New American Economy trumpets about immigrants we ‘welcome’ to America.

From WCTV:

Tallahassee doctor indicted for more than $23M in healthcare fraud

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) — A federal grand jury has indicted a Tallahassee doctor, accusing him of more than $23 million in healthcare fraud.

According to court documents, Moses deGraft-Johnson owned and operated the Heart and Vascular Institute of North Florida since September 2015. Kimberly Austin – his office manager – was also indicted.

Duel citizen Moses deGraft-Johnson benefited the US economy! NOT!

Federal prosecutors said in court Friday afternoon they believe there were more than 3,600 surgeries billed over the last five years, with 85 to 90% of them being fraudulent.

The 58 count indictment, which was unsealed Thursday, alleges deGraft-Johnson defrauded Medicare and Medicaid by billing them for dozens of procedures that he never performed.

A detailed list shows each of the claims was for more than $21,000. Federal prosecutors said in court that the amount of money that was improperly billed reached $23 million.

A later motion alleges deGraft-Johnson’s calendar showed he performed 14 surgeries in one day.

[….]

The indictment contends deGraft-Johnson wasn’t even in the United States on some of those days, but rather was traveling to Madrid, London and other cities in Ghana and China.

[….]

Culture of corruption? Since we have had so many fraud and crime stories perpetrated by Nigerians, I figured I would use this map to show you where both Ghana and Nigeria are located.

Federal prosecutors requested in court Friday that deGraft-Johnson be detained until his trial, saying the doctor poses a “serious risk of flight.”

Prosecutors contend deGraft-Johnson is a naturalized U.S. citizen born in Ghana. They say he has “the motive, the means and the opportunity to flee from the United States to Ghana.”

According to prosecutors, he has two passports, both showing that he has dual citizenship for the United States and Ghana.

Unlimited hubris!

Prosecutors also contend that deGraft-Johnson has stated his ultimate long-term professional goal is “to be the President of Ghana.

[….]

Court documents indicate deGraft-Johnson deposited more than $32 million in health care funds into his bank account between November 2015 and August 2019. Prosecutors say that the majority of funds were transferred to other accounts.

[….]

At one point, deGraft-Johnson told federal agents he had no cash that was not in a bank, but agents found $40,000 cash at one of his residences.

“This suggests that there may be other cash hoards in any of Defendant’s five other residences,” prosecutors wrote.

The doctor’s other residences are located in Miami, Manhattan, Hampton and Texas, prosecutors said in court.

Prosecutors also detailed lavish spending, including millions spent on Tiffany and Cartier jewelry, two Mercedes, and the recent leases of a Ferrari and a Lamborghini.

There is much more!

The President is missing an opportunity!

Honestly, I think Trump is making a big mistake not highlighting some of the major Medicare and Medicaid fraud prosecutions his administration is undertaking.

At every rally he should tell a story or two about how they caught some big crooks stealing from middle class Americans!

To be fair and balanced he could throw in a few American fraudsters along with the ‘new American’ ones!

Florida? Texas? Michigan? California? Which state has the most fraudulent medical practitioners?

 

Detroit Area ‘New American’ Doctors Guilty in $150 Million Rip-off of Medicare Program

Is the word out all over the world for foreign docs to head to the Detroit area and set up scams to rip-off American taxpayers? It seems that way considering the number of cases of fraud I’ve reported from Michigan.

See this post about Opiod pushing docs in Michigan because they aren’t just ripping us off financially, but hurting Americans as well.

Here is the latest from ClickonDetroit.com:

Metro Detroit physicians found guilty of defrauding Medicare, prescribing unnecessary opioids

Four Metro Detroit physicians were found guilty of health care fraud for their roles in a scheme to administer unnecessary back injections to patients in exchange for prescriptions of medically unnecessary opioids.

The doctors all worked for Tri-County Group owned by co-conspirator Mashiyat Rashid. https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/health-care-ceo-pleads-guilty-150-million-health-care-fraud-scheme-involving-harmful

Officials said patients were required to get the injections in order to get the prescriptions. Some of the opioids were resold by drug dealers.

Spilios Pappas, 62, of Lucas County, Ohio, Joseph Betro, 59, of Oakland County, Michigan, Tariq Omar, 62, of Oakland County, Michigan, and Mohammed Zahoor, 53, of Oakland County, Michigan, were each found guilty of one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and wire fraud, and one count of health care fraud.

“These physicians subjected patients to medically unnecessary injections to reap millions in fraudulent billings. Worse still, they incentivized those treatments by offering opioid prescriptions in sky-high dosages meant for the terminally ill,” said Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “Today’s verdict shows that the Department will root out physicians who let dollar signs rather than medical need drive their treatment of patients.”

Evidence at trial showed that from 2008 to 2016 Pappas, Betro, Omar and Zahoor worked at numerous medical clinics in Michigan and Ohio, which were operated under the name of the Tri-County Group (Tri-County) and owned by co-conspirator Mashiyat Rashid.

While working at Tri-County they engaged in a scheme to defraud Medicare of over $150 million by billing for medically unnecessary facet joint injections, unnecessary urinary drug screens, home health and more.

Officials said they offered prescriptions of oxycodone 30 mg to patients who were in pain, drug dealers, or opioid addicts. Those patients were forced to submit to unnecessary facet injections for the prescription.

The four defendants were all ranked in the top 25 doctors for dollars paid by Medicare for facet joint injections, even though they only worked a few hours a week. The defendants practice was described during trial as an assembly line, where the four defendants earned anywhere from $1,100 to $3,500 an hour for performing the injections.

Seniors:  If you are seeing a doctor, especially for pain medications and you see something suspicious, report it to Medicare.gov.  Check your Medicare statements carefully.  One friend who was receiving pain meds told me that her doctor had billed Medicare for a much larger amount than she was prescribed.  Maybe by mistake? But, best to report anything suspicious!

 

Unlicensed NJ ‘New American’ Docs Busted for Bilking Insurance Companies

Editor:  Sorry I am behind in posting here at ‘Frauds and Crooks’.  That is because Refugee Resettlement Watch has been taking so much of my time in recent days and weeks.

Here is a quick story from New Jersey.

From the Daily Record:

Unlicensed doctor who treated patients in Morris, Warren pleads guilty

A Long Valley doctor with offices in Morris and Warren counties pleaded guilty on Wednesday to bilking millions of dollars from insurance companies for unlicensed medical care.

How would you like to get medical treatment from this guy, Paramjit Singh?

Parminderjeet S. Sandhu, 66, of Long Valley, and Paramjit Singh, 62, of Ohio, each pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Peter G. Sheridan in Trenton federal court to charges of conspiracy to commit health care fraud.

In 2017, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito filed the charges and said Sandhu, who was licensed to practice in New Jersey, knew Singh’s medical license was suspended, yet still allowed him to care for patients in the three locations he owned and operated under the name Medical Care Associates Family Practice and Urgent Care.

[….]

Records show that from August 2014 through October 2017, Sandhu and Singh billed $2.2 million to Medicare and private health insurance companies for medical services they claimed were provided by Sandhu, but were actually performed by Singh.

More here.

(Another) New American Doc Rips Us Off, but it’s Even Worse Than That!

“Patients were put through unneeded anxiety and pain so the doctor could make millions! “

(US Attorney Ryan K. Patrick)

The Justice Department calls what Jorge Zamora-Quezada did “heinous.”

It didn’t take long to figure out that the convicted Texas doc was from Mexico, see here.

So much for those ‘new Americans’ who are in our country for a better life! This one sure had a better life (for awhile) as he supposedly benefited the US economy (not!).

From the US Justice Department:

Texas Doctor Found Guilty for Role in $325 Million Health Care Fraud Scheme Involving False Diagnoses of Life-Long Diseases

A federal jury found a Texas rheumatologist guilty today for his role in a $325 million health care fraud scheme in which he falsely diagnosed patients with life-long diseases and treated them with toxic medications on the basis of that false diagnosis. 

Following a 25-day trial, Jorge Zamora-Quezada, M.D., 63, of Mission, Texas, was convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, seven counts of health care fraud, and one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice.  Zamora-Quezada is expected to be sentenced on March 27, 2020, by U.S. District Judge Ricardo Hinojosa of the Southern District of Texas, who presided over the trial.

 

Attorney Michael Watts holds a poster while talking about charges against Dr. Jorge Zamora-Quezada at a news conference Monday, May 21, 2018, at the Hidalgo County Courthouse in Edinburg.  You will see in this story that he was raising sons to follow in his footsteps by becoming doctors too! https://www.themonitor.com/2018/06/15/embattled-doctors-son-no-bond-left-patients-in-limbo/

 

“The conduct in this case was heinous.  Dr. Zamora-Quezada falsely diagnosed vulnerable patients, including the young, elderly, and disabled, with life-long diseases requiring invasive treatments that those patients did not in fact need,” said Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “Today’s guilty verdict shows that the Department of Justice will work tirelessly to protect the public from unscrupulous medical professionals who greedily line their own pockets at the expense of their patients’ health and safety.”

“As evidenced by the length of trial, this was a massive investigation into one of the worst medical fraudsters,” said. U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick of the Southern District of Texas. “Unnecessary medical tests to create millions of dollars of false billing is as bad as it gets. Patients were put through unneeded anxiety and pain so the doctor could make millions. He won’t need it where he’s headed.”

“The guilty verdict against Dr. Zamora-Quezada ensures he will pay a steep price for his unthinkably callous and cruel criminal conduct, committed for the sheer sake of greed,” said Special Agent in Charge CJ Porter of the Office of Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS-OIG).  “The abhorrent conduct in this case, which resulted in harm to unsuspecting patients, only serves to deepen the dedication of HHS-OIG agents and our law enforcement partners to pursue, prosecute, and exclude bad actors in the Medicare and Medicaid programs.”

“Rarely do we see such an egregious case of health care fraud, where so many patients received years of unnecessary and debilitating treatments, which were rendered out of sheer greed,” said Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs of the FBI’s San Antonio Field Office. “The FBI is committed to seeking justice for each and every victim who suffered immeasurable harm at the hands of these defendants. The public deserves to be able to seek medical care without fear of being falsely diagnosed and given toxic medications they don’t need. We will relentlessly pursue those who would enrich themselves at the expense of those most vulnerable in our community.”

According to the evidence presented at trial, Zamora-Quezada falsely diagnosed a large number of patients with rheumatoid arthritis, a life-long, incurable disease – and treated them with toxic, medically unnecessary medications like chemotherapy drugs on the basis of that false diagnosis.

Many patients, including patients as young as 13, suffered physical and emotional harm as a result of the false diagnoses, chemotherapy injections, hours’ long intravenous infusions, and other excessive, repetitive and profit-driven medical procedures.  The evidence further showed that to obstruct and mislead a federal grand jury investigation, Zamora-Quezada falsified medical records.  Zamora-Quezada operated medical practices throughout South Texas and San Antonio.  He traveled to his various offices on his private jet and in his Maserati. 

There must be ads worldwide—become a doctor and go to the US to rip off dumb Americans.  I hope you are checking your medical professionals carefully.

By the way, I think Texas is giving the frauds and crooks in Michigan and Florida a run for their money!

Michigan: Afghanistan-born Surgeon Dubbed the “Greedy Butcher” to Spend Two Decades Behind Bars

A federal appeals court affirmed a lower court decision earlier this week that seeks to send a message to medical practitioners who are clearly seeking financial gain at the expense of their patients’ health.

The original court ruling against Dr.Aria Sabit was in 2017 (before I began writing ‘Frauds and Crooks‘ to highlight cases like this where ‘new Americans,’ supposedly here to follow the American dream ripped us off, or in some cases killed us). Hey, Michael Bloomberg, so much for immigrant entrepreneurs!

 

This is a screenshot. Visit the 2017 story here: https://www.clickondetroit.com/news/2017/01/06/sentence-for-accused-greedy-butcher-surgeon-truly-up-for-grabs/

 

From the Detroit Free Press:

A Birmingham neurosurgeon’s federal appeal failed, leaving him to serve nearly 20 years in prison because of his role in a $2.8 million insurance fraud scheme involving unnecessary spinal surgeries.

Aria Sabit also must deal with a lifetime of supervision and pay nearly $2 million in restitution because of the upheld sentence.

A three-judge U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed the 2017 sentence on Monday. Dec. 16.

“After recounting the facts underlying Sabit’s conviction, the district court discussed the … factors and then handed down the sentence,” the opinion read. “That shows the district court took a holistic approach to justifying the sentence.

“And that holistic approach didn’t lack an adequate explanation: the district court spoke at length about Sabit’s ‘horrific criminal acts upon vulnerable and defenseless human beings’ and then explained why the sentence was necessary (1) to protect the public and (2) to deter other criminal conduct.”

The 11-page opinion concludes by saying the lower district court did not commit “reversible” error during Sabit’s criminal proceedings or when imposing his sentence.

“Thus, we affirm,” the opinion concluded.

Prior to his guilty plea and sentencing, Sabit owned and operated the Michigan Brain and Spine Physicians Group with several metro Detroit locations.

Sabit admitted to convincing more than a dozen patients to undergo spinal fusion surgeries that he never performed, causing serious bodily harm in some cases.

“He told patients they needed spinal surgery,” the just-released opinion detailed. “Sabit then operated on the patients and told them (falsely) that he had inserted the agreed-upon medical device.

“Sabit also falsified his operative reports to make the patients think he had put the spinal devices in place.”

Go here for more on the sickening case.

The message to you, dear readers, please, please carefully check out your doctors.  We have American bad docs, but honestly based on cases I’ve been reading about (so many in Michigan!) a lot of foreign-born docs are not here to help you get well.

Endnote: I encourage those of you interested in the UN/US Refugee Admissions Program to go over to Refugee Resettlement Watch every few days, because a lot is going on following the President’s reform initiative launched in September.