Ali S. Makki, a 51-year-old medical doctor from Dearborn, Michigan was sentenced today to serve 24 months in custody followed by three years’ supervised release on three felony counts involving his fraud against the Medicare program, making false statements in immigration, and for filing a false tax return, United States Attorney Barbara L. McQuade announced today.
McQuade was joined in the announcement by Special Agent in Charge Andrew G. Arena, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Special Agent in Charge Erick Martinez, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, Special Agent in Charge Brian Moskowitz, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Special Agent in Charge Lamont Pugh, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General.
Imposing the sentence was Senior U.S. District Judge Lawrence P. Zatkoff. According to information provided to the court at the July 8, 2010 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 under-reported his income by not reporting certain cash receipts on his 2002 and 2003 federal income tax returns.
The guilty pleas were part of a broader settlement with the United States government resulting in Dr. Makki’s forfeiture of all his interest in $75,890 in cash (seized at the execution of a search warrant in 2004), and his interest in one parcel of commercial real property and the proceeds from the sale of another, located in Canton and Dearborn, Michigan. The total value of the forfeited property has been estimated to be approximately $4 million or more.
United States Attorney McQuade said, “We hope that our strong focus on health care fraud will deter doctors and other providers from stealing from taxpayer programs like Medicare.”
Special Agent Arena said, “This doctor was sentenced today for health care fraud, immigration fraud, and tax fraud. Not only did this doctor lie and defraud the U.S. government, but he also betrayed the public and tax payers by billing and receiving payment from Medicare for services not rendered. The combination of prison time, forfeited properties/monies, fines, and restitution payments should be a deterrent to other medical professionals who are or might become involved such fraud. The FBI, along with our law enforcement partners, are committed to aggressively investigating allegations of healthcare fraud as well as other violations of federal laws.”
This sentencing shows yet again the effectiveness of the comprehensive coordination of Federal law enforcement authorities and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in fighting Federal fraud — including fraud against health programs,” said Lamont Pugh III, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Office of Inspector General’s region covering Michigan. “Dr. Maki’s actions are a bitter testament to the lengths criminals will go to in order to steal taxpayer dollars.”
“No matter what the source of income, all income is taxable,” said Special Agent Martinez. “IRS-CI is very serious now and throughout the year in enforcing the laws directed at those who attempt to defraud our nation’s tax system.”
The investigation of this case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Homeland Security Investigations (formerly Immigration and Customs Enforcement) and the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division.
~I have one question for the LEO’s involved:
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
Was the “immigration” charge connected to the fact another ‘illegal’ who had the potential of doing even more harm, yes, I have no compunctions about ‘profiling’, which ME part of the world did he come from?! ~JP