Mohammed Kazkaz mixed his love of fraud and his love of burgers into a scheme that maybe neither health care professionals nor fast-food joints have ever seen before. Kazkaz owned and controlled Centre HRW, a psychotherapy agency in Farmington Hills, Michigan whose sole purpose was to submit false and fraudulent claims to Medicare for psychotherapy services that were not provided nor eligible for reimbursement to begin with. In total, Kazkaz stole about $5.3 million in fraudulent claims and hid the money in a burger joint.
Kazkaz offered and provided kickbacks and bribes to Ziad Khalel, who was a patient recruiter, as an inducement to refer Medicare beneficiaries to Centre HRW for psychotherapy services, even though such services were medically unnecessary and were never rendered. Khalel would require the recruited Medicare beneficiaries to sign blank Centre HRW sign-in sheets to allow Kazkaz to submit over $11 million fraudulent claims to Medicare. That was the easy part. Then Kazkaz needed to hide the money.
To conceal the fraudulent funds, Kazkaz transferred approximately $1,445,000 in a cashier’s check issued to National Restaurant Chain known as Big Boy.
Upon discovering Kazkaz scheme, Prosecutors froze Big Boy’s bank accounts triggering an ongoing civil fight for the money. The restaurant chain’s executives said in April that the government’s actions prompted the company to bounce checks, face utility shutoffs, default on payments to landlords and left restaurant officials unable to buy groceries. Oh well. Medicare needs to pay real medical bills. Find another investor, Big Boy.
Great job by the FBI.
Today’s Fraud of The Day is based on article Oakland County psychotherapy clinic owner sentenced for health care fraud, money laundering” published by The Oakland Press on October 27, 2023
The owner of a Farmington Hills clinic has been sentenced to federal prison for an $11 million health care fraud and money laundering scheme.As announced Oct. 26 by the U.S. Attorney’s Office – Eastern District of Michigan, Mohamed Kazkaz, 54, was sentenced to seven and a-half years for the crimes, which he pleaded guilty to, and was also ordered to forfeit approximately $5.3 million in proceeds from his illegal actions.
In pleading guilty, Kazkaz admitted to owning and operating Centre HRW, a purported psychotherapy agency in Farmington Hills, for the purpose of submitting false and fraudulent claims to Medicare for reimbursement for services. The services weren’t provided or were ineligible for reimbursement, officials said, and were filed under Medicare identification numbers procured through bribes and kickbacks, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.