July 20, 2024

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Feds charge 4 people in a multimillion-dollar Amtrak health insurance scam


Four people today were being arrested Thursday on costs they participated in a multimillion-dollar fraud to defraud Amtrak by bribing staff of the rail company to submit bogus claims to the Amtrak health insurance approach, authorities explained.

Muhammad Mirza, 50, of Cedar Grove, Devon Burt, 49, of Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, and Hallum Gelzer, 43, of East Orange, have been billed with conspiracy to commit health and fitness treatment fraud, in accordance to U.S. Lawyer for New Jersey Philip R. Sellinger. Courtroom papers identified Mirza as a doctor with places of work in New Jersey and New York and list Burt as an Amtrak staff.

An acupuncturist, Punson Figueroa, 55, of Lengthy Island Town, New York, was charged with 15 counts of well being treatment fraud in the plan, in accordance to court documents.

The 4 allegedly recruited Amtrak employees from New Jersey and New York to allow for Mirza, Figueroa, and other individuals to use their health-related and coverage details to submit false claims.

“Mirza, Figueroa, and some others benefitted from this plan by getting payments from the Amtrak health treatment system for solutions that ended up never supplied or that had been medically unneeded,” the U.S. Attorney’s Business explained in a assertion.

In the meantime, Gelzer and Burt obtained dollars in return for letting the wellbeing care suppliers to use their info to post fraudulent promises and for recruiting many others to the scam, in accordance to paperwork submitted in the scenario.

An undercover investigator posing as an Amtrak employee achieved with Figueroa at his New York office environment on June 17, 2021, authorities said. Figueroa experienced the undercover agent indicator his title about 30 situations for acupuncture and bodily remedy purportedly been given, but not to day the paperwork.

“Figueroa mentioned to the undercover agent that the undercover agent had great insurance plan, and that Amtrak has really superior added benefits,” the statement reported. “Figueroa submitted or triggered to be submitted fake promises to Amtrak’s wellness care strategy indicating that the undercover agent experienced visited providers at the very least seven situations in Might 2021, purportedly obtaining acupuncture and actual physical remedy companies.”

In fact, prosecutors said the undercover agent only visited Figueroa’s workplace one particular other time, on July 29, 2021. All through the assembly, which was recorded with audio and video, Figueroa gave the undercover investigator an envelope filled with $1,000, court docket papers stated.

Figueroa used the undercover agent’s individual and coverage info to post bogus claims to Amtrak’s wellness plan around 73 periods, major the system to pay back $31,840, in accordance to the files.

Authorities reported the Amtrak wellbeing care system compensated at least $9 million from claims connected to providers linked to the fraud.

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Noah Cohen could be arrived at at [email protected].


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