Hillcroft Physicians medical director among 4 medical workers charged in $32M health care fraud scheme

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — A group of four Hillcroft Physicians medical workers, including a medical director and operator, are in custody on charges related to their alleged participation in a $32 million health care fraud scheme.

Medical director Farrah Forough Farizani D.O., 57; operator Hamid Reza Razavi, 60; and unlicensed practitioners 46-year-old Elie Hanna Hajjar and 64-year-old Juan Acuña made their appearances this week before a U.S. magistrate judge.

All four individuals were charged with one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, and Farizani, Razavi and Hajjar are also charged with five counts of making false statements relating to health care matters.

According to court documents, the group allegedly submitted false and fraudulent claims to Medicaid and Medicare for services that were not provided as billed or were not provided by a licensed, qualified and enrolled provider.

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Farizani, Razavi, Hajjar, and Acuña allegedly misled patients and staff to believe that Hajjar and Acuña were licensed to practice medicine in Texas.

The court documents go on to allege that Farizani and Razavi directed Hajjar and Acuña to pose as licensed medical professionals. Hajjar and Acuña then allegedly examined, diagnosed, treated, referred and prescribed drugs for patients.

Documents note that many of the patients were non-English speaking Medicaid clients unfamiliar with the American medical system.

Farizani and Razavi allegedly directed Hillcroft Physicians’ billing staff to submit false claims to Medicaid and Medicare as though Farizani had seen and treated the patients, even when Farizani was out of the country.

In total, the indictment alleges that the group submitted approximately $31 million in claims to Medicaid, for which Medicaid paid approximately $12.2 million.

It also alleges that the individuals submitted approximately $600,000 in claims to Medicare, for which Medicare paid approximately $250,000.

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