Beaumont, TX (CompNewsNetwork) - United States Attorney Rebecca A. Gregory announced today that a Port Arthur medical billing business and three employees have been indicted and charged with multiple counts of Health Care Fraud related violations in the Eastern District of Texas.
Aahley Collin Walkes, 36, of Houston, Isam Nazmi Anabtawi, 77, of Groves, Kristi Rose, 30, of Bridge City, and 4500 Gulfway Medic Management, PA, a Port Arthur business, have each been charged with 150 counts of Health Care Fraud in an indictment returned by a federal grand jury late today.
According to the indictment, from September 2004 until March 2008, Medic Management PA, a "pain management facility", under the direction of Walkes, Anabtawi, and office manager Kristi Rose, fraudulently billed Medicaid, Medicare, and private insurance for physical therapy and office visits.
Medic Management billed Medicaid, Medicare and private insurance for thousands of physical therapy sessions, despite the fact that the clinic never employed a licensed physical therapist, and treatment was provided by unsupervised personnel who had no physical therapy training, but all the physical therapy sessions were billed as if they were performed by Dr. Anabtawi. In total, Medic Management billed Medicaid, Medicare, and private insurance nearly $7.5 million for physical therapy and was paid nearly $4.2 million. Also, Medic Management billed Medicaid, Medicare, and private insurance for thousands of office visits claiming each patient was seen by Dr. Anabtawi for approximately 25 minutes, when each patient was only actually seen for five minutes or less. From September 2004 until March 2008 Medic Management billed the government approximately $2.5 million for office visits and was paid $633,749.51.
Walkes was also indicted for six counts of money laundering and one count of making a false statement during a health care investigation. The money laundering counts stem from Walkes' use of the fraudulently obtained money to make large purchases for himself, including things such as cars, houses, and nearly $37,000 in landscaping costs. Rose was indicted with Walkes on one of the money laundering counts for accepting a check for $20,000.
Anabtawi was indicted for 149 counts of health care fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud. Rose was indicted for 149 counts of health care fraud, one count of conspiracy, and one count of money laundering. Walkes was indicted for 149 counts of health care fraud, one count of conspiracy, one count of making a false statement related to a health care investigation, and six counts of money laundering. The clinic itself was indicted for 149 counts of health care fraud and one count of conspiracy.
The case was jointly investigated by the Texas Attorney General's Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation and is being prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Christopher Tortorice.
It is important to note that an Indictment should not be considered as evidence of guilt and that all persons charged with a crime are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.