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Robert B. Vogel, MD, JD
Retinal Ophthalmologist at Piedmont Eye Center, Lynchburg VA;
Attorney, Overbey Hawkins & Wright, PLLS, Lynchburg, VA;
Adjunct Professor, Humanities and Bioethics, Liberty University School of Medicine, Lynchburg, VA.
Syed Imran Ahmed, a former surgeon in Brooklyn and Long Island hospitals, recently received a 13-year prison sentence and was ordered to pay over $7 million in restitution. He was found guilty of healthcare fraud, making false statements related to healthcare matters, and money laundering.
During the trial, evidence was presented that Ahmed, 51, charged Medicare for phantom incision-and-drainage and wound-debridement procedures. Ahmed would write out lists of these surgeries he didn’t perform and send them to a billing company with instructions to bill them to Medicare. To increase payouts, he also would claim that the surgeries were conducted in operating rooms.
The case was brought by the Health and Human Services Department’s Office of the Inspector General as part of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force. “Dr. Syed Ahmed treated the Medicare program like a personal piggy bank, stealing over $7.2 million by making fraudulent claims for medical procedures he never performed,” said U.S. Attorney Richard P. Donoghue.
“Dr. Ahmed will now pay the price for violating the trust that Medicare places in doctors. His 13-year prison sentence and the heavy payments imposed should send a powerful message of deterrence to other medical professionals who would seek to defraud vital taxpayer-funded programs like Medicare for personal enrichment. This office, together with our law enforcement partners, will remain vigilant in rooting out health care fraud.”