The Department of Justice (DOJ) recently announced charges against two psychiatrists for their alleged roles in a health care kickback scheme and a home health care fraud scheme. In addition, the DOJ announced charges for Joseph A. Haynes, a health care marketer who was also involved in the kickback scheme. Dr. Muhammed Kaleem Arshad and Dr. Padmini Nagaraj, both New Orleans-based psychiatrists, were charged with one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and five counts of health care fraud. Additionally, all three defendants were charged with one count of conspiracy to receive illegal health care kickbacks and three counts of receiving illegal health care kickbacks.
The DOJ alleged that the three defendants conspired with the owner of a New Orleans home health agency, offering referrals for medically unnecessary services in exchange for monetary bribes. The health care marketer worked at the agency and on its behalf to negotiate and enforce the bribes. So far, the allegations were raised in an indictment and are yet to be proven in a court of law. The defendants await prosecution in the Eastern District of Louisiana.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) investigated the case. The prosecution is led by the DOJ’s Criminal Division Fraud Section, which leads the Medicare Fraud Strike Force (MFSF). The MFSF has charged over 3,500 defendants who have falsely billed the Medicare program since 2007. Collectively, these defendants have falsely billed Medicare for over $12.5 billion in claims.
The DOJ press release is available at: