Thursday, June 13, 2024

Chicago-area man charged in $60 million scheme that ordered COVID-19 test kits for dead people; Chicago man charged in scheme to bill $6.2 million to Medicare in one month for COVID tests never performed, and other C-Virus related stories

Chicago-area man charged in $60 million scheme that ordered COVID-19 test kits for dead people:
A suburban man has been charged in a massive $60 million COVID-19 fraud scheme that billed Medicare for millions of at-home test kits over a two-month period last year, including tests for at 4,000 people who were later determined to be dead.
Syed Shaukat Ahmed, 58, was arrested this week on a three-count criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court with Medicare fraud, transfer of fraudulently obtained funds, and using illegally obtained money to pay off his mortgage.
Agents stopped Ahmed Monday at O’Hare International Airport, where he was scheduled to board a flight to Pakistan with his family, according to court records. It was later determined that it was a pre-scheduled annual trip back to his home country, not an attempt to flee prosecution.
Still, prosecutors initially sought to have Ahmed held in custody pending trial. But he was released Thursday after posting a $5 million bond secured by two homes — including the same Morton Grove house he allegedly paid off with a $560,000 cashier’s check last year, court records show.
Ahmed’s attorney, Eric Pruitt, declined to comment on the charges Friday.
Syed’s arrest is the latest court action to stem from a wave of similar schemes, mostly taking advantage of government programs to ease costs for consumers for pandemic-related testing, including an effort by the Biden administration to provide free at-home test kits to anyone by having the providers directly bill Medicare.
The charges against Syed are believed to be the biggest single COVID-19 fraud scheme to be charged in federal court in Chicago since the onset of the pandemic more than four years ago.
According to the complaint, the investigation began in April 2023 when authorities detective a massive spike in Medicare billings for at-home COVID-19 tests emanating from several Chicago-area labs. --->READ MORE HERE
Chicago man charged in scheme to bill $6.2 million to Medicare in one month for COVID tests never performed:
A North Side man has been charged with participating in a scheme to fraudulently bill $6.2 million to Medicare in just over a month for COVID-19 tests that were never performed, part of what prosecutors say is an ongoing crime “epidemic” that has bilked tens of millions of dollars from government-funded pandemic relief programs.
Fasiur Syed, 46, a native of India who has lived in Chicago for the past eight years, was arrested last week on a criminal complaint charging him with health care fraud.
Prosecutors asked that he be held without bond pending trial, arguing he had little incentive to remain here to face the charges and could be under threat from other behind-the-scenes co-schemers.
“These schemes are an epidemic in this district and they need to be stopped,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian Hayes said at a detention hearing Thursday.
Syed’s attorney, Jack Corfman, argued Syed was a relatively low-level cog and made little money himself from the alleged fraud. He lives with his cousin in an apartment in Chicago’s West Rogers Park neighborhood and is employed as a ride-share driver and Amazon warehouse worker, Corfman said.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey Cole said he was taking a chance letting Syed, who is not a U.S. citizen, out on bond, but that prosecutors had not met their burden to keep him locked up. He ordered Syed freed on a $25,000 unsecured bond and required him to surrender his passport and submit to a curfew during nonworking hours.
The judge also warned Syed that his life would become much more complicated if he tried to run. --->READ MORE HERE
Follow links below to relevant/related stories and resources:

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WSJ: Coronavirus Live Updates

YAHOO NEWS: Coronavirus Live Updates

NEW YORK POST: Coronavirus The Latest

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