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Kentucky doctor sentenced in conspiracy involving $14 million in fraudulent billing

A gavel cracks down. (Airman 1st Class Aspen Reid/U.S. Air Force)

A Lexington doctor who wrote orders that resulted in more than $14 million in fraudulent billing to Medicare has been sentenced to two years in federal prison.

The sentence for Amr Mohamed includes $14.1 million in restitution, according to a news release from the U.S. Department of Justice.

Mohamed, 55, specialized in diseases of the kidney. He had been licensed in Kentucky since 2012 and worked at UK HealthCare before being indicted in March 2023.

The indictment resulted from his work with RediDoc, a purported telemedicine company, and not the university.

RediDoc paid Mohamed to write orders for medical equipment, creams and genetic testing for Medicare beneficiaries.

Federal authorities charged that the products and tests were not medically necessary because Mohamed did not establish a real doctor-patient relationship with the patients and the tests were not used for treatment.

Mohamed’s guilty plea cited one case in which a Kentucky woman received a call from a marketer who said she was eligible for free medical braces.

The braces involved in the scheme typically were wrist, shoulder, knee and ankle braces, according to the court record.

The woman told the caller she couldn’t use the braces and not to send them, but Mohamed wrote an order for them anyway.

Mohamed received $261,054 from RediDoc between March 2018 and April 2019 for writing orders for more than 7,000 people, but the business billed Medicare $14,150,764 for the unnecessary products and tests, according to court documents.

Mohamed’s attorney, John W. Oakley II, said in a sentencing memorandum that Mohamed believed he was helping people and had no idea RediDoc billed the federal government for so much money based on his work.

Oakley said he believed “that Dr. Mohamed was used and manipulated by Redidoc to satisfy its own selfish goals and objectives at his and his family’s expense.”

The sentencing range for Mohamed under advisory guidelines called for at least three years and 10 months in prison based on amount of fraudulent billing.

Oakley sought a lower sentence, pointing out that Mohamed had repaid the $261,054 he received from RediDoc and lost his job and license to practice.

U.S. District Judge Karen K. Caldwell sentenced Mohamed Tuesday in federal court in Lexington.

The case against Mohamed was part of a larger nationwide conspiracy in which marketers identified Medicare beneficiaries and called to persuade them to try medications or equipment “even when the beneficiary’s need for those items was not clear and was not discussed with the beneficiary’s doctor,” according to a charge against one RediDoc official.

The marketers then sent the information to RediDoc and the company paid doctors to write prescriptions and orders, according to the court record.

The owners of the company, Stephen Luke and David C. Laughlin Jr., both of Arizona, pleaded guilty but have not been sentenced.

The two admitted taking part in more than $64 million in fraudulent billing to Medicare and TRICARE, an insurance program for members of the military.

Mohamed is liable for the $14.1 million in restitution along with Luke and Laughlin.


© 2024 Lexington Herald-Leader

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