WASHINGTON, D.C. (WDAM) - This is a news release from the U.S. Department of Justice.
A federal jury in Los Angeles convicted the owner of a medical clinic for his role in a health care fraud scheme and for filing false income tax returns.
Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department's Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Eileen M. Decker of the Central District of California, Assistant Director in Charge Deirdre Fike of the FBI's Los Angeles Field Office, Acting Special Agent in Charge Anthony J. Orlando of Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation's (IRS-CI) Los Angeles Field Office and Special Agent in Charge Scott Rezendes of the Office of Personnel Management Office of Inspector General (OPM-OIG) Field Operations made the announcement.
Michael Huynh, 66, of Northridge, California, was convicted on Sept. 21, 2016, of one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and 11 counts of filing false tax returns after a seven-day trial before U.S. District Judge Otis D. Wright II of the Central District of California. Huynh will be sentenced on Jan. 30, 2017.
Evidence introduced at trial showed that Huynh, the office manager and part-owner of a medical clinic, provided false prescriptions to a pharmacist and co-conspirator, Farhad N. Dany Sharim, who submitted false claims to insurance companies for drugs that were never dispensed. Once Sharim received payments from the insurance companies, he paid Huynh for the false prescriptions. Trial evidence showed that between January 2004 and November 2009, Huynh received 82 checks from Sharim totaling over $1.1 million. Evidence at trial also demonstrated that Huynh filed false federal tax returns for tax years 2007 through 2011 that underreported the medical clinic's gross receipts and sales on the corporate tax returns and total income on the individual tax returns. Trial evidence showed underreported income of over $1.6 million.
Sharim pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud on Nov. 18, 2013 and will be sentenced on Dec. 5, 2016.
The FBI, IRS-CI and OPM-OIG investigated the case, which was brought as part of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, supervised by the Criminal Division's Fraud Section and the U.S. Attorney's Office of the Central District of California. Fraud Section Trial Attorney Alexis Gregorian and Assistant United States Attorney Steven Arkow prosecuted the case.
Since its inception in March 2007, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, now operating in nine cities across the country, has charged nearly 2,900 defendants who have collectively billed the Medicare program for more than $10 billion. In addition, the HHS Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, working in conjunction with the HHS-OIG, are taking steps to increase accountability and decrease the presence of fraudulent providers.