Chicago-area medical professionals charged with health care fraud

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Sun-Times file photo

Sun-Times file photo

Several Chicago-area medical professionals are facing charges as part of the largest health care fraud enforcement action in Department of Justice history.

More than 400 defendants were charged in 41 districts across the country, including 115 doctors, nurses and other licensed medical professionals for their participation in health care fraud schemes involving $1.3 billion in false billings, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s office.

The national enforcement action was taken by the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, a joint initiative between the Department of Justice and HHS to prevent and deter health care fraud around the country.

Several defendants were from the Chicago area, including Beatta Kabbani, a physical therapist charged in a 13-count indictment with health care fraud and aggravated identity theft, according to the feds.

Kabbani, the owner of MedCare Medical Group in Glenview, submitted more than $2 million in false claims to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois and United Health Care, the feds allege. Kabbani used a physician’s National Provider Identification number to substantiate some of the false claims. Kabbani is scheduled to be arraigned July 26.

Two Chicago-area chiropractors, Jeffrey Witek and Stephen Hoesley, were also charged in an 18-count indictment with health care fraud, according to the feds. They allegedly submitted at least $1.1 million in false claims to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois that claimed that certain health care services were provided to patients that were not actually provided. They are scheduled to be arraigned Aug. 2.

Zosima Victuelles, Mylene Masiclat and Maribel Cabrera, the owners of Sure Care Home Health Corp, were charged in a 28-count indictment along with Yaseen Odeh and Mohammad Raza Khan with conspiracy to offer and pay, and to solicit and receive, kickbacks and bribes for the referral of Medicare beneficiaries to their home health agency with offices in Glendale Heights and Rockford, according to the feds. Victuelles and Cabrera are nurses, and Odeh and Khan are doctors.

The charges stem from Victuelles, Masiclat, Cabrera and more paying Dr. Odeh and Dr. Khan more than $435,000 in kickbacks and bribes for referrals. Their arraignments have not yet been scheduled.

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