- District Judge Manish Shah in in Illinois ordered Muhammad Ateeq to pay approximately $48 million in restitution, along with forfeiture of a $2.4 million cashier’s check and over $1 million in cash.
A Pakistani man has been sentenced in Illinois to 12 years in prison for a health care fraud scheme and money laundering conspiracy. Along with the prison sentence, Muhammad Ateeq, 33, of Rawalpindi, Pakistan, has been ordered to pay approximately $48 million in restitution, according to a Department of Justice press release. In addition, Indian American Manish Shah, District Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, ordered the forfeiture of a $2.4 million cashier’s check and over $1 million in cash, the press release said.
According to court documents, Ateeq worked in the Islamabad office of Home Health Care Consulting, an entity that controlled Medicare billing and maintenance of electronic medical records for over 20 home health agencies located in Illinois, Indiana, Nevada and Texas. While working at Home Health Care Consulting, Ateeq used a variety of fake identities, including “Nilesh Patel,” “Sanjay Kapoor” and “Rajesh Desai,” to acquire and manage home health agencies in the United States. Once the agencies were under Ateeq’s control, through them he submitted fraudulent claims to Medicare for home health services, resulting in over $40 million in payments for services that were never rendered,” the press release said.
As part of the money laundering conspiracy, Ateeq directed his U.S. employees to deposit checks of fraud proceeds into U.S. bank accounts designated by overseas customers of overseas money transmitting businesses. The money transmitting businesses then issued cash payments to Ateeq in Pakistan, as well as deposits into bank accounts in Pakistan under Ateeq’s control. Ateeq also directed U.S. employees to use fraud proceeds to purchase expensive watches and other luxury items in the United States and then deliver the items to Ateeq’s associates in Dubai.