Former Pleasanton resident pleads guilty to stealing COVID-19 aid funds | USAO-NDCA

0

OAKLAND — Javed Wahab today pleaded guilty to theft of government property in connection with a plot to steal funds intended to help medical providers treat patients with COVID-19, US Attorney Stephanie M. Hinds and the US Department of Health and Human Services announced known Services Office of Inspector General’s (HHS-OIG) San Francisco Regional Office Special Agent in Charge Steven J. Ryan. The Hon. Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers, US District Judge, accepted the lawsuit.

According to court documents, the 53-year-old Wahab, formerly of Pleasanton, admitted that he was the owner of Premier Home Health Care & Hospice, Inc., Carelink Hospice Services, Inc. and JW Healthcare, Inc., respectively, home health care and hospice care in Alameda County offer. and elsewhere. Together, the three companies received approximately $285,000 for medical treatment and care for COVID-19 patients. Wahab admitted he stole $186,516.72 of those funds by spending them for his personal use and giving them to family members instead of using the funds as needed in connection with pandemic relief efforts.

The charges against Wahab resulted from his willful misuse of funds distributed from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act Provider Relief Fund, money specifically allocated by the CARES Act to support healthcare providers financially dependent on affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. 19 pandemic to care for patients who have been ill with COVID-19 and to compensate providers for the costs of that care. These funds have been vital in relieving burden on healthcare providers and maintaining access to medical care during the pandemic.

On September 1, 2021, a federal grand jury indicted Wahab and charged him with theft of government property on five counts in violation of 18 USC § 641. Under today’s plea agreement, Wahab pleaded guilty to one count. If Wahab complies with the plea agreement, the remaining charges will be dismissed at sentencing.

Judge Gonzalez Rogers scheduled Wahab’s sentencing for August 25, 2022. Wahab faces a maximum statutory sentence of 10 years. Additionally, as part of a conviction, the court can order a fine of up to $250,000, redress, and supervised release for up to three years. However, any penalty will be imposed by the court only after considering the US sentencing guidelines and the federal statute for imposing a penalty, 18 USC § 3553.

Assistant US Attorney Katherine Lloyd-Lovett of the US Attorney for the Northern District of California and Trial Attorney Shankar Ramamurthy of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Division are prosecuting the case.

This case was brought up following an investigation by HHS-OIG.

The case was brought in coordination with the Health Care Fraud Unit’s COVID-19 Interagency Working Group, which is led by the National Rapid Response Strike Force and is organizing efforts to counter illegal activities related to health care programs during the pandemic.

On May 17, 2021, the Attorney General established the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force to pool the resources of the Department of Justice in partnership with agencies across government to increase efforts to combat and prevent pandemic-related fraud. The task force increases efforts to identify and prosecute the most guilty domestic and international criminal actors and assists agencies tasked with administering assistance programs to prevent fraud by expanding and integrating existing coordination mechanisms, resources and techniques Identify and share fraudulent actors and their schemes to uncover fraudulent actors and leverage information and learnings from previous enforcement efforts. For more information on the Department’s response to the pandemic, visit https://www.justice.gov/coronavirus.

Anyone with information about suspected fraud related to COVID-19 may report it by calling the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) hotline at 866-720-5721 or the NCDF web complaint form at https ://www. justice.gov/disaster-fraud/ncdf-disaster-complaint-form.

Share.

About Author

Comments are closed.