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Three Detroit-Area Residents Plead Guilty to Health Care Fraud
Date:12/18/2009

WASHINGTON, Dec. 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Jackson, Mich., resident Terrence Hicks and Detroit residents Muhammed Al Mahdi and John Saunders pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Michigan this week for their roles in a $4.2 million Medicare fraud scheme, Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division, Acting U.S. Attorney Terrence Berg of the Eastern District of Michigan, Special Agent in Charge Andrew G. Arena of the FBI's Detroit Field Office and Daniel R. Levinson, Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced today.

Hicks, 42, and Saunders, 70, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud before Chief Judge Gerald E. Rosen of the U.S. District Court in Detroit today; Al Mahdi, 63, pleaded guilty on Dec. 15, 2009, to the same charge before Chief Judge Rosen. All three defendants admitted that they participated in a conspiracy to defraud Medicare, operating out of a Southfield, Mich., clinic called Sacred Hope Center (Sacred Hope). The clinic purported to specialize in providing injection and infusion therapy services to Medicare patients.

Specifically, Hicks admitted that beginning in September 2006, he began working as a patient recruiter and driver at Sacred Hope. Sacred Hope was owned by defendant's co-conspirators, Jose Rosario and Daisy Martinez, who pleaded guilty in the same case in August and September 2009, respectively. According to court documents, Sacred Hope routinely billed the Medicare program for medications and services that were medically unnecessary and, in many instances, never provided. Hicks admitted to being aware that the purpose of the clinic was to defraud the Medicare program, not to provide legitimate health care to patients.

According to court documents, Medicare beneficiaries were not referred to Sacred Hope by their primary care physicians, or for any other legitimate
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SOURCE U.S. Department of Justice
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