WE NEED YOUR HELP — Support your hometown newspaper by making a donation.

Oceaside doctor charged with healthcare fraud

Posted

An Oceanside doctor was among 12 individuals who were indicted on June 28 for their alleged roles in healthcare-fraud schemes in which Medicare and Medicaid programs were billed a total of $163 million, according to a news release by the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York. The indictments were handed down as part of a nationwide healthcare-fraud takedown.

Dr. Abraham Demoz, 58, of Oceanside, along with four other health care professionals, were charged with conspiracy to commit health care fraud for a scheme lasting from 2009 to 2016 that allegedly netted the group more than $116 million in billings from the two programs.

“As alleged, the defendants charged throughout the Eastern District of New York as a part of the nationwide health care takedown abused their positions to enrich themselves, while bilking Medicare and Medicaid,” United States Attorney Richard Donoghue said. “They did so without regard to the elderly and vulnerable citizens whose health depends upon these essential programs.”

According to prosecutors, Demoz, along with the other defendants, allegedly paid illegal kickbacks for the referral of patients to their clinics. The patients then purportedly subjected themselves physical and occupational therapy as well as other procedures in return for the payments, and the medical professionals benefited from the Medicaid and Medicare reimbursements as a result.

“Turning a blind eye to the needs of Medicare and Medicaid recipients, these medical officials set their sights on personal gain,” said FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William Sweeney. “Our doctors and healthcare professionals are entrusted to serve those in need, but these individuals used their occupations as leverage to fulfill their fraudulent scheme. By allegedly billing Medicare and Medicaid more than $163 million, the defendants selfishly diverted funds allocated to our most vulnerable citizens.  

Prosecutors charged Demoz, along with the other defendants with conspiracy to commit health care fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, conspiracy to pay health care kickbacks, conspiracy to defraud the United States by obstructing the lawful functions of the IRS and subscribing to a false and fraudulent tax return.