Monday, July 12, 2010

Local Doctor Pleads Guilty to Health Care Fraud

Ali S. Makki, M.D., who has an office at 6050 Greenfield Rd. in Dearborn, which is just outside of the Warrendale neighborhood, plead guilty in federal court on Thursday to defrauding Medicare and making false statements in immigration and tax matters.

According to information provided to the court at the time of the guilty plea hearing, from July 2004 through September 2009, Dr. Makki knowingly submitted false claims to Medicare concerning the number and quality of x-rays provided to his Medicare patients, thereby obtaining $113,777 to which he was not entitled. In addition, Dr. Makki admitted that he falsified an immigration form for a patient applying for naturalization in an effort to exempt his patient from certain requirements necessary for naturalization, and underreported his income by not reporting certain cash receipts on his 2003 federal income tax return.

Under the terms of the plea agreement, Dr. Makki faces, among other things, up to 30 months in federal prison. He will remain free on bond pending sentencing, which is scheduled for September 30, 2010 in Port Huron, Michigan.

The criminal investigation of this case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Internal Revenue Service.

The United States also resolved Dr. Makki’s civil liability under the False Claims Act and civil forfeiture statutes, resulting in Makki’s forfeiture of commercial real property with an appraised value of more than $4.7 million in Canton and Dearborn, and approximately $76,000 in cash. According to the publicly filed civil forfeiture complaint, the United States alleged that Ali Makki engaged in drug diversion and various fraudulent billing schemes, including billing for services that were not rendered and for unnecessary tests, and writing false progress reports in patient files.

U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade praised the result in this case.  She explained in a prepared statement, "We are paying close attention to Medicare billing records and we will prosecute doctors like Dr. Makki who abuse the system."
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