Medicare fraud nets 10-year prison term for Palos Hills man
By Mike Nolan email@example.com December 20, 2012 6:32PM
Updated: January 22, 2013 10:05AM
The co-owner of a former Palos Hills home health care business was sentenced Thursday to 10 years in prison for defrauding Medicare of more than $2.9 million, the U.S. attorney’s office in Chicago said.
Bahir Haj Khalil, the executive manager and co-owner of House Call Physicians LLC, had submitted tens of thousands of false claims that misrepresented medical services provided to patients, according to a news release.
Khalil, 34, of Palos Hills, was the last of three defendants to be sentenced in the case. He was convicted after a trial in September.
A native of Syria and a Canadian citizen who was not authorized to work in the United States, Khalil has been in federal custody since his arrest in July 2011, according to the news release.
He was also ordered to pay restitution of $2.9 million.
At his trial, federal prosecutors said Khalil “preyed on Medicare beneficiaries” and performed unnecessary tests and services, the U.S. attorney’s office said.
Although he had no medical training or license, Khalil established House Call Physicians in 2006 and engaged in Medicare fraud from that time until his arrest, the government said.
He was convicted of six counts of health care fraud, and Khalil and his business partner, Mohammed Khamis Rashed, 46, of Chicago, were also convicted of one count each of visa fraud. On Tuesday, Rashed was sentenced to six months in prison.
A third defendant, Paschal Oparah, of South Holland, was sentenced Dec. 12 to 1-1/2 years in prison and ordered to pay restitution of $791,000. A suspended podiatrist, Oparah pleaded guilty to health care fraud and cooperated with the government’s investigation, according to the news release.