POSTED: Thursday, March 14, 2013 - 2:33pm
UPDATED: Monday, March 18, 2013 - 10:47am
McAllen, TEXAS (KVEO NEWSCENTER 23) — A federal grand jury has indicted urologist Hossein Lahiji M.D. and his wife, attorney Najmeh Vahid Lahiji, both of McAllen and San Antonio on several counts of conspiracy and fraud.
The couple are charged with conspiracy to commit health care fraud, health care fraud and for conspiring to violate Iranian sanctions. The indictment alleges the Lahiji's conspired to violate Iranian Sanctions by transferring approximately $1.1 million to Iran.
They are accused of using an unlicensed money remitting business called Espadana Exchange to avoid U.S. banking regulations and allegedly making it appear they were not violating the U.S. embargo with Iran. In doing so, they sent money from the illegal health care fraud scheme to Iran to invest in real estate rental property which is a violation of the sanctions.
The health care fraud scheme alleges the couple of conspiring to defraud multiple health care benefit programs by submitting false and fraudulent claims by using unlicensed and unqualified medical personnel. That charge comes from using those employees for billing of medical services not rendered.
The scheme began in January 2003 through February 24, 2012 involving Medicare, Medicaid, Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Humana and United Healthcare.
Further, they are accused of submitting claims to those health care programs for urology services allegedly performed by Hossein Lahiji M.D. when he was outside of the state and country.
Both Lahiji's each face a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000, maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and possibly a $1 million dollar fine on the violation of the sanctions.
The investigation was conducted by the FBI, the Texas Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and IRS-CI.