Twelve Chicago area medical professionals have been charged as part of a nationwide Medicare fraud takedown by the U.S. attorney’s office.
The nationwide takedown by the Medicare Fraud Strike Force operated in 17 districts and resulted in charges against 243 people, according to the statement.
According to prosecutors, the takedown is the largest in strike force history in terms of the loss amount, $712 million, and the number of defendants charged.
Twelve Chicago area defendants have been charged in four separate cases, according to the statement.
Seven people who worked at three home health care companies — Donnarich Home Health Care, Inc., Josdan Home Health Care Inc., and Pathways Home Health Services LLC — were charged Wednesday with conspiracy to commit health care fraud, health care fraud, false statements and money laundering. They include Josephine Tinimbang, an owner and operator of the companies; Dr. Jose Calub, the medical director; Sharon Gulla, a nurse and supervisor; and Marilou Lozano, Ronald Malalis, Mary Pilar Mendoza, and Isabelita Sabejon, all registered nurses who enrolled non-homebound beneficiaries and fabricated medical records. Two others, Shwerin Cubelo, a patient recruiter, and Janet Guerrero, an office manager, were charged in an earlier indictment.
A 70-year-old River Forest man was indicted for health care fraud. Barry Fischer, who worked for various home health agencies, allegedly billed Medicare for unnecessary home visits, falsely certified patients for home health services, and put false information in patient charts.
A 78-year-old Bensenville woman was charged with health care fraud for causing Medicare to be billed for home health care services for patients who were not homebound, and for services that weren’t rendered. Zenaida Dimailig allegedly paid cash kickbacks to Medicare-covered patients who allowed their information to be used to bill for services they did not need.
A 46-year-old Chicago dermatologist was charged with health care fraud last week for billing cosmetic treatments fraudulently as the destruction of pre-cancerous lesions, according to the station. Omeed Memar falsely diagnosed patients with precancerous lesions, then billed heath insurers for medically unnecessary treatments between 2007 and 2013, according to the statement.