Seattle Doctor Offers Guilty Plea in Scam

November 22, 2004

Vimlesh Ahmad, 58, of Seattle, pleaded guilty recently in U.S. District Court in Seattle to one count of Health Care Fraud.

Ahmad reportedly admitted she filed false and fraudulent claims with Medicare, Medicaid, the Washington State Industrial Insurance Program (Labor and Industries) and private health insurance programs. Under the plea agreement and a civil settlement reached with Dr. Ahmad, she will pay $1,000,100 in fines, restitution, repayment and civil damages, including double damages to Medicare and Medicaid as required by federal law.

According to the plea agreement, Dr. Ahmad regularly submitted claims to health care benefit programs at a higher level of service than she really provided. Ahmad made false statements in patient charts referencing tests that were never performed and she sometimes billed for office visits when she had not seen the patient at all.

Even after being audited by the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) on behalf of the Medicaid program, Ahmad reportedly continued to bill for services that were not performed. The plea agreement cites one example where Ahmad billed Medicaid for three visits with a patient, when in fact that patient was outside Washington State during the entire time period.

Dr. Ahmad has agreed to surrender her medical license, and has agreed that she will not practice medicine in any form in the United States. Ahmad has agreed that she will be permanently excluded from billing, as a health care provider, any federal health care programs such as Medicare or Medicaid. Ahmad and federal prosecutors have agreed to a sentence of one year and one day in prison.

Ahmad will be sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge John Coughenour on Jan. 7, 2005.

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