WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- A Westchester County neurologist was among six charged in a multi-million dollar health care fraud scheme that spanned more than a decade.
On Thursday, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara announced that Emad Soliman, who lives in New Castle and has a practice in Yonkers, was among those charged in a reported 12-year scheme to “defraud Medicaid, Medicare and other private health insurance companies out of more than $50 million.”
Soliman, 47, was arrested in Westchester on Thursday morning, Bharara said.
“As alleged, these defendants that included a cardiologist and neurologist ran a medical practice that for years bilked public health care programs and private insurance companies of more than $50 million,” he added. “Thanks to the hard work of federal and state investigators, this fraud has been revealed and the alleged perpetrators forced to face the consequences of their actions.”
According to Bharara, Soliman - who is a board-certified neurologist - was a part of the scheme that included making false representations to insurance providers, submitting false claims to those providers, paying “exorbitant kickbacks to local primary care medical offices in exchange for lucrative referrals from their office” and accessing, without authorization, electronic health records of patients at a particular Long Island hospital, among other infractions.
In the indictment, it is alleged that to further their scheme, and to hide from the insurance providers the size of the fraudulent claims, the doctors submitted claims to the providers falsely representing that certain medical tests had been ordered or performed.
“These doctors included Emad Soliman, who knowingly participated in the scheme to allow (the practice) to submit false claims to the insurance providers in his name, as well as two other doctors who did not know their identities were being used to further the fraud,” the indictment says.
"Public health insurance programs, like Medicare and Medicaid, are not a personal pocketbook for criminals seeking to exploit a program designed to help those who need these programs the most," FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William F. Sweeney Jr. stated. "As alleged, the six defendants carried out a massive health care fraud scheme against these programs and private insurance companies for over twelve years and submitted more than $50 million in fraudulent claims. The FBI is committed to working with our law enforcement partners to bring to justice those who defraud taxpayer-funded programs.”
Soliman has been charged with conspiracy to commit health care fraud, health care fraud, wire fraud, making false statements relating to health care matters, conspiracy to commit fraud in connection with identification information and making false statements to a federal agent. He is due back in court later this year, where he will face up to 75 years in prison.
“Health care fraud schemes like the one alleged here loot government health programs, compromise patient well-being, and undermine the public’s trust in the health profession," Scott J. Lampert, Special Agent-in-Charge of the New York Regional Office of the United States Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General, said. "You can bet our agents will continue to thoroughly investigate such allegations and hold fraudsters accountable for their crimes.”