Pakistani convicted of health fraud and money laundering conspiracy | Takeover bid
A Pakistani man was convicted today in the Northern District of Illinois for a health care fraud scheme and money laundering conspiracy.
Muhammad Ateeq, 33, from Rawalpindi, Pakistan, was sentenced to 12 years in prison and ordered to pay approximately $48 million in restitution. Additionally, Judge Manish Shah ordered the confiscation of a cashier’s check for $2.4 million and over $1 million in cash.
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 more than 20 home health agencies located in Illinois, Illinois. Indiana, Nevada and Texas. While working at Home Health Care Consulting, Ateeq used various false identities, including “Nilesh Patel”, “Sanjay Kapoor” and “Rajesh Desai”, to acquire and manage home health agencies in the United States. Once the agencies were under Ateeq’s control, Ateeq tricked the agencies into submitting fraudulent claims to Medicare for home health services, resulting in more than $40 million in payments for services that didn’t were never returned.
As part of the money laundering conspiracy, Ateeq ordered its U.S. employees to deposit checks for the proceeds of the fraud into U.S. bank accounts designated by foreign customers of overseas money transfer businesses. The money transmitter companies then issued cash payments to Ateeq in Pakistan, as well as deposits to bank accounts in Pakistan under the control of Ateeq. Ateeq also ordered US employees to use the proceeds of the fraud to purchase expensive watches and other luxury items in the United States and then deliver the items to Ateeq associates in Dubai.
Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; U.S. Attorney John R. Lausch, Jr. for the Northern District of Illinois; Deputy Director Luis Quesada of the FBI’s Criminal Investigations Division; Special Agent in Charge Emmerson Buie Jr. of the FBI Chicago Field Office; and Principal Assistant Inspector General Christi A. Grimm of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG) made the announcement.
The FBI Chicago Field Office and HHS-OIG investigated the matter.
Trial Attorney Sarah Wilson Rocha of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jeremy Daniel and Patrick Mott of the Northern District of Illinois prosecuted the case.