Parsippany Lab owners among six charged with COVID fraud
PARSIPPANY — The Department of Justice announced criminal charges against 21 defendants in nine federal districts across the United States for their alleged participation in various health care fraud schemes that exploited the COVID-19 pandemic. These cases have reportedly resulted in more than $149 million in bogus COVID-19-related billings to federal programs and the theft of federally funded pandemic relief programs. As part of the enforcement action, the department seized more than $8 million in cash and other fraud proceeds.
“The Department of Justice’s Healthcare Fraud Unit and our partners are dedicated to rooting out schemes that have exploited the pandemic,” said Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite Jr. of the Criminal Division. of the Ministry of Justice.
“Billions of dollars have been spent by the federal government to help individuals and their businesses deal with the economic impact of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger of the District of New Jersey. “Unfortunately, unscrupulous people have stolen millions of dollars through various schemes. We will continue to pursue lawsuits to combat this type of fraud.
“This COVID-19 healthcare fraud enforcement action involves extraordinary efforts to prosecute some of the largest and most extensive pandemic fraud detected to date,” said COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Director 19, Kevin Chambers.
The April 20, 2022 announcement builds on the success of the May 2021 COVID-19 enforcement action and involves the continuation of various COVID-19 healthcare fraud schemes.
Abid Syed, Taquir Din, Tamer Mohamed, Abdul Rauf, Tauquir Khan and Nisim Davydov, all of New Jersey, are charged in a criminal complaint with conspiracy to violate federal anti-bribery law for their role in a alleged scheme to defraud Medicare by paying illegal kickbacks and kickbacks of more than $250,000 for lab tests for COVID-19 pathogen testing. Syed and Din owned and controlled Metpath, a clinical laboratory in Parsippany, which performed and billed Medicare for COVID-19 diagnostic tests. Khan, Mohamed and Davydov were traders who provided thousands of COVID-19 diagnostic tests to Metpath and received kickbacks and bribes from Syed and Din for doing so.
Metpath is located at 322 Route 46. Click here to download the complaint.
The complaint alleges that Metpath attempted to conceal its bribe payments to traders through front companies created and controlled by Rauf.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney DeNae Thomas of the Health Care Fraud Unit of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey.
Enforcement actions were led and coordinated by Deputy Chief Jacob Foster and Trial Attorney D. Keith Clouser of the National Rapid Response Strike Force, and Deputy Chief Justin Woodard of the unit’s Gulf Coast Strike Force fraud unit in the health care fraud section of the criminal division. The Fraud Section’s National Rapid Response Strike Force and the Health Care Fraud Unit’s Strike Forces (SF) in Brooklyn, Gulf Coast, Miami, Los Angeles, and Newark, as well as the U.S. District Attorney’s Offices in Maryland, of the District of New Jersey, the District of Utah, the Northern District of California and the Western District of Tennessee are prosecuting these cases.
In addition to the FBI, HHS-OIG and CPI/CMS, the US Postal Inspection Service; Department of Defense Inspector General’s Office; Department of the Interior Office of the Inspector General; Department of Labor Office of the Inspector General; Office of the Inspector General of the Food and Drug Administration; homeland security investigations; Office of the Inspector General of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs; and other federal and local law enforcement agencies participated in the enforcement action.
The Fraud Section leads the Health Care Fraud Task Force. Since its inception in March 2007, the Health Care Fraud Strike Force, which maintains 15 strike forces operating in 24 federal districts, has charged more than 4,200 defendants who have collectively billed the Medicare program nearly $19 billion. Additionally, CMS, in conjunction with HHS-OIG, is taking steps to increase accountability and reduce the presence of fraudulent vendors.
On May 17, 2021, the Attorney General established the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force to mobilize the resources of the Department of Justice in partnership with agencies across government to scale up efforts to combating and preventing fraud linked to the pandemic. The task force strengthens efforts to investigate and prosecute the most culpable domestic and international criminal actors and assists agencies administering relief programs to prevent fraud, among other methods, by increasing and integrating coordination mechanisms existing ones, identifying resources and techniques to uncover fraudulent actors and their agendas, and sharing and leveraging information and knowledge gained from previous enforcement efforts.
The Department of Justice needs the public’s help to stay vigilant and report suspected fraudulent activity. To report suspected fraud, contact the National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) at (866) 720-5721 or file a complaint online by clicking here. Complaints filed will be reviewed at NCDF and forwarded to federal, state, local, or international law enforcement or regulatory agencies for investigation.
An indictment, complaint or information is only an allegation, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in court.