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Detroit-Area Physical Therapist Pleads Guilty in Medicare Fraud Scheme
Date:10/19/2009

WASHINGTON, Oct. 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Solomon Nathaniel of Sterling Heights, Mich., pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Detroit to participating in a conspiracy to defraud the Medicare program, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Terrence Berg of the Eastern District of Michigan and Daniel R. Levinson, Inspector General of the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS).

In his guilty plea today, Nathaniel, 51, a licensed physical therapist, admitted that he worked as a contract therapist for Suresh Chand, a co-conspirator who pleaded guilty to similar charges on Sept. 29, 2009. Chand owned and controlled several companies operating in the Detroit area that purported to provide physical and occupational therapy services to Medicare beneficiaries. Nathaniel admitted that he, Chand and others created fictitious therapy files appearing to document physical and occupational therapy services provided to Medicare beneficiaries, when in fact no such services had been provided. According to court documents, the fictitious services reflected in the files were billed to Medicare through sham Medicare providers controlled by Chand and other co-conspirators.

According to plea documents, Chand acknowledged that in order to create the fictitious therapy files, he and his co-conspirators paid cash kickbacks and other inducements to Medicare beneficiaries in exchange for the beneficiaries' Medicare numbers and signatures on documents falsely indicating that they had received physical or occupational therapy. Nathaniel admitted that he was among the licensed physical or occupational therapists from whom Chand obtained signatures on fictitious "progress notes" and other documents falsely indicating that the therapists had provided services to the Medicare beneficiaries.

Nathaniel admitted that during the course of the scheme, he signed approximately 1,25
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SOURCE U.S. Department of Justice
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