U.S. Court in Michigan Denies Motion to Suppress Evidence in Medicare Fraud Case

Monday, March 21, 2016
By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health

On February 3, 2016, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan denied a motion to suppress all evidence of health care fraud seized by the government pursuant to a search warrant of Naseem Minhas’s home health care agency. The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) conducted the search warrant at Minhas’s business, Tricounty Home Care Services, Inc., in December 2013.

The Michigan court found that the government’s search warrant contained sufficient facts and evidence of health care fraud. The defendant, Naseem Minhas, was charged with conspiracy to commit health care fraud and conspiracy to pay and receive illegal kickbacks for his role in a $5.7 million scheme to defraud Medicare. To read more on this case, click here.


Was the Search Warrant Overly Broad?


The search warrant was executed to seize alleged evidence of illegal health care fraud from February 1, 2009, until the present. The warrant sought “all records related in any way” to defendants’ patients, including medical records, charts, files etc. and all documents containing records of billing, invoices and claims for payments.

Minhas’s contends the warrant (1) omits crucial information and thus lacks probable cause and (2) is overly broad. Alternatively, the Defendant requested an evidentiary hearing so as to prove that the purported omission of crucial information was intentional or reckless.


Medicare Fraud Search Warrant Upheld.

Despite Minhas’s motion to suppress all evidence, the court was not persuaded and found that he failed to show that the warrant contained material omissions. The court found that the information in the search warrant “supplements patient interviews, recordings of Minhas paying kickbacks for referrals and other evidence of fraudulent behavior.”

Based on the evidence gathered such as recordings, interviews with patients and statements from a recruiter admitting to receiving kickbacks from Minhas, “there was [sic] reasonable grounds to believe that there was a fair probability that evidence of a crime would be located on Tricounty’s premises,” the court said.

The government argued that the evidence gathered from the warrant shows that Minhas’s entire business was permeated by kickbacks and services that were not provided to patients. The government also argued that there was probable cause to search and seize all patient files, therefore, the warrant was not overly broad. Based on the evidence, Naseem Minhas’s motion to suppress all evidence and conduct a new hearing was denied. To read further about this decision, click here.


Consult with a Health Law Attorney Experienced in Medicare and Medicaid Issues Now.


The attorneys of The Health Law Firm represent health care providers in responding to government subpoenas and search warrants, civil investigative demands (CIDs), Medicare audits, ZPIC audits and RAC audits, throughout Florida and across the U.S.  They also represent physicians, medical groups, nursing homes, home health agencies, pharmacies, hospitals and other healthcare providers and institutions in Medicare and Medicaid investigations, audits, recovery actions and termination from the Medicare or Medicaid Program.

For more information please visit our website at www.TheHealthLawFirm.com or call (407) 331-6620.


Sources:

“U.S. Court in Michigan Upholds Medicare Fraud Search Warrant.” AHLA. (February 12, 2016). Web.

U.S. v Minhas. Leagle. (February 12, 2016). Web.


About the Author: George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law. He is the President and Managing Partner of The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice. Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida area. www.TheHealth Lawfirm.com The Health Law Firm, 1101 Douglas Ave., Altamonte Springs, FL 32714, Phone; (407) 331-6620.


Key Words: Health care fraud defense attorney, Medicare fraud defense lawyer, illegal healthcare kickbacks, Medicare audit defense attorney, Medicaid audit defense counsel, DEA defense attorney, motion to suppress evidence, Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), fraudulent healthcare billing attorney, search and seizure lawyer, Medicare program, Medicare investigations, health care fraud defense counsel, health care legal counsel, Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) subpoena attorney, civil investigative demand (CID) attorney, Medicare audit defense, ZPIC audit defense attorney, RAC audit defense legal counsel, Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) search warrant attorney, health care attorney, health law, Florida health law attorney, The Health Law Firm

“The Health Law Firm” is a registered fictitious business name of George F. Indest III, P.A. – The Health Law Firm, a Florida professional service corporation, since 1999.
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3/21/2016

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