A man from Clifton was charged with fraud and tax evasion after operating a medical transport service when he had been previously convicted of health care fraud.
Imadeldin Awad Khair asked for a trial without a jury because he was concerned about receiving a fair treatment as he is Muslim and speaks Arabic. The judged granted his requests and dismissed the 12 jurors.
The Second Medicare Fraud
Khair had defrauded Medicaid and Medicare of millions of dollars as he illegally ran the ambulance service for a decade.
The man owned K&S Invalid Coach, an ambulance and wheelchair transportation service that operated in the Clifton area. The owner on paper was his deceased brother.
The defense attorney stated that Khair only consented for the five-year disbarment. He claims he did not receive the notification informing him of the 11 years exclusion. Thus, he did not act upon it.
Khair had also been accused of paying a part of the employees in cash, and avoided paying federal payroll taxes. He also tried to obstruct a federal audit, when the investigators began to check the company’s financial practices. The defense attorney refused to address the topic, by stating that the firm has other owners.
The evidence presented at the trial includes a text message through which Khair instructs his employees to lie to the investigators. The prosecution is expected to bring witnesses that will testify that Khair was managing K&S services, and he was indeed involved in doing the things he had been barred from.
The History of Convictions
In 1999, Khair partnered with Imad Elbashir and engaged in health care fraud by submitting false claims to Medicaid. The two men owned I&I Invalid Coach, another ambulance service operating in Clifton.
The men pleaded guilty in 2003 and Khair was sentenced to three years in prison. He managed to enter an intensive supervision program in Passaic County Jail, at which time he signed a consent paper that stated he would stay away from health care services for at least five years.
In the following year, the US Department of Health and Human Services sent notification letters to Khair and his lawyer informing them on the 11 years exclusion. The note also mentioned that the reinstatement was not to be considered automatic after the term expires, but he would need to file a formal application to regain the right to offer health care related services.
Khair was forbidden from the roles of supervisor or manager in a company. He was also banned from hiring or firing employees or be involved in payroll operations.
The K&S clients were Medicaid or Medicare beneficiaries that needed transportation for dialysis. In three years, Khair was paid $6.5 million for claims. The affair was discovered in 2014 while the company was investigated by the Labor Department, and then the FBI stepped in to verify Khair’s activity.
Khair had been charged with Medicaid and Medicare fraud, obstruction, 11 counts of tax evasion and four counts of money laundering.
Image Source: Pixabay