Medicare fraud is rampant. Tens of billions are lost each year in scams around the country. The victims of these scams are ultimately taxpayers and those truly needy people who are denied essential medical care. Because Medicare is a federally funded program, whistleblowers who report fraud can earn large cash awards from the government.
The conviction of three Michigan residents for Medicare fraud was announced this month by the Unites States Department of Justice. Felicar Williams (age 51), Abdul Malik Al-Jumail (age 54) and Jamella Al-Jumail (age 25) were all convicted of billing Medicare for services that were never provided. The government says the scheme netted $29 million.
The indictment in the case revealed that the three defendants individually owned several adult day care centers and home health care agencies in Michigan. Each was funded in part by Medicare. Abdul Malik Al-Jumail and Felicar Williams were accused of paying “recruiters” kickbacks and bribes to obtain details of Medicare beneficiaries that could be used to submit false claims for reimbursement. All three defendants were also accused of submitting the false invoices.
Jamella Al-Jumail was also charged with destruction of records in a federal investigation. Prosecutors say that she burned records the day after her father was arrested.
A total of 9 people have been charged. Not all have gone to trial yet, however and some pleaded guilty early in the process. The three noted in this post have not yet been sentenced. Detroit Medicare Fraud Indictment
What is particularly troubling is that despite the massive losses to Medicare and taxpayers – $29,780,000 – several of the defendants claimed they were indigent and sought taxpayer funded lawyers.
As noted earlier, Medicare fraud is a huge problem in the United States. Under the federal False Claims Act, persons with inside information about fraud to a government funded program can qualify for awards of up to 30% of whatever the government collects from wrongdoers. It is not uncommon for the Justice Department to pay out million dollar whistleblower awards.
To qualify for an award, you must have original source information about a fraud to a government program. A lawsuit must then be filed in federal court under seal meaning it remains secret while the government is given the opportunity to investigate. Ultimately, if the information is useful, an award will be based on the amounts actually collected by the government.
Think you have what it takes to become a whistleblower? Talk to one of our Medicare fraud lawyers today and find out. For more information, contact attorney Brian Mahany at or by telephone at (direct).