Muhammad Ateeq didn’t need to be in the United States to concoct and manage a lucrative scheme to rob from the United States Medicare program. He did it from the comfort of his office at Home Health Care Consulting in Islamabad, Pakistan, submitting, processing, and eventually pocketing over $40 million in payments for services that were never rendered.
Home Health Care Consulting controlled Medicare billing and maintenance of electronic medical records for over 10 home health agencies located in Illinois, Indiana, Nevada, and Texas. While working at Home Health Care Consulting, Ateeq used a variety of fake identities, such as “Nilesh Patel,” “Sanjay Kapoor” and Rajesh Desai” to acquire and manage home health agencies in the United States. Once the agencies were established, Ateeq ordered the agencies to submit fraudulent claims to Medicare for home health services.
As part of the conspiracy, Ateeq had his U.S. employees deposit the checks into U.S. banks with money transmitting businesses that offer overseas transactions. The money transmitting businesses then issued cash payments to Ateeq in Pakistan.
Nothing says success luxury goods and those are easier for fraudsters to get in the United States. Ateeq directed his U.S. employees to use thousands of dollars in fraud proceeds to purchase expensive watches and other items and send them to his associates in Dubai to avoid all international purchase restrictions and taxes.
Ateeq won’t need his watch in jail though. Ateeq was sentenced on February 18, 2022, to 12 years in prison and ordered to pay $48 million in restitution.
Great job by the FBI Chicago Field Office and HHS-OIG for investigating this case.
Today’s “Fraud of the Day” is based on an article posted in the East MOJO News on February 19, 2022
Indian-American Judge Manish Shah Sends Pakistan Man Muhammad Ateeq to 12 Years in Jail in Healthcare Fraud Case
San Francisco, Feb 19: Indian-American judge Manish Shah has sentenced Muhammad Ateeq, 33, of Rawalpindi, Pakistan, to 12 years in prison and ordered to pay approximately $48 million in restitution.
In addition, judge Shah in the Northern District of Illinois in the US ordered the forfeiture of a $2.4 million cashier’s check and over $1 million in cash, the Department of Justice (DoJ) said in a statement. According to court documents, Ateeq worked in the Islamabad office of Home Health Care Consulting, an entity that controlled Medicare billing and maintenance of electronic medical records for over 20 home health agencies located in Illinois, Indiana, Nevada and Texas.