An Oceanside doctor is among 10 people prosecuted in the Eastern District out of Brooklyn in what the U.S. Department of Justice called a “national health care fraud takedown” Thursday, with authorities saying the 10 illegally billed Medicare and Medicaid more than $125 million.
The case against Dr. Abraham Demoz, 57, and four other health care professionals involved a “fraud conspiracy” in Brooklyn and Queens that billed Medicare for about $100 million, the DOJ said in a statement.
The case is part of a series of health care fraud cases announced Thursday that involved charges being brought against 412/ defendants nationwide for what the DOJ and the Medicare Fraud Strike Force said were schemes involving about $1.3 billion in fraudulent claims.
The sweep ensnared another local individual, Dr. Ghanshyam Bhambhani, 52, of Valley Stream, who was arrested after being charged in a criminal complaint for “violating the anti-kickback statute by paying other physicians for patient referrals to his practice,” prosecutors said in a statement.
Bhambhani, an Ozone Park cardiologist, was secretly recorded by other physicians discussing such payments, the statement said.
He disguised kickbacks as “rent” for the days he worked out at primary care doctors’ offices, the complaint said. The cardiologist and some of his employees billed Medicare Part B for more than $3.7 million in claims and Bhambhani was listed as the attending physician for another $7.4 million in Medicare claims, the statement said.
He was released on $1 million bail, the attorney general’s office said.
The indictment says that Demoz along with Staten Island physical therapist Wael Bakry, 45; occupational therapist Victor Genkin, 48, of Brooklyn; Mayura Kanekar, 42, an occupational therapist from Bayside, Queens; and chiropractor Alexander Khavash, 40, of Parkland, Florida, conspired “to commit health care and wire fraud” with “related tax charges” by paying “illegal kickbacks” for the referral of patients to their clinics, who “in turn, subjected themselves to purported physical and occupational therapy and other services,” authorities said.
Demoz, Bakry and Kanekar were all arrested on Monday and were arraigned before U.S. Magistrate Judge Vera M. Scanlon at the federal court in Brooklyn.
Bail for each of the three was set at $750,000, a spokesman for the attorney general’s office said. None of their lawyers were immediately available to comment.