UPDATE: Physical Therapist Who Participated in $30 Million Health Care Fraud Scheme Sentenced in Federal Court

Published Date

A New York City-based physical therapist arrested in 2017 following an OMIG-assisted investigation for his role in a $30 million Medicaid and Medicare health care fraud and kickback scheme was sentenced in federal court on Oct. 6 to 24 months in prison.

Hatem Behiry, of Brooklyn, N.Y. was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Lorna G. Schofield of the Southern District of New York following a six-week trial in May 2019 in which a jury found Behiry guilty on charges of health care fraud, wire fraud, mail fraud, conspiracy to commit those offenses and conspiracy to make false statements in connection with a federal health care program. Behiry stood accused of pretending to provide physical therapy services to patients and partaking in and overseeing a group of physical therapists that falsified medical records in a fraudulent scheme to bill Medicare and Medicaid more than $5 million for non-existent services between 2007 and 2012.

Behry was found to have provided no physical therapy services at all to patients, instead engaging in brief pro forma conversations with the patients and then completing paperwork that was used to bill Medicare and Medicaid for roughly an hour of physical therapy services. 

Behiry’s sentencing follows the sentencing of his alleged co-conspirator, Paul Mathieu, of Morristown, N.J. who was sentenced on Dec. 11 to 48 months in prison and ordered to pay restitution and forfeiture for his role in the massive scheme of using his title of medical professional to pose as the owner of three Brooklyn-based medical clinics.

Behiry is the eleventh defendant to be sentenced in the case. In addition to Behiry and Mathieu, the  other defendants, each of whom pled guilty, include:  Aleksandr Burman, who was sentenced in May 2017 to 10 years in prison; Marina Burman, the former wife of Aleksandr Burman and the owner of a related medical supply company, sentenced in May 2017 to three years in prison; Mustak Y. Vaid, a physician sentenced in August 2018 to 18 months in prison; Ewald J. Antoine, a physician sentenced in August 2018 to a year and a day in prison; Asher Oleg Kataev, a Burman business partner, sentenced in May 2018 to three years in prison; Alla Tsirlin, a Clinic office manager, sentenced in June 2018 to a year and a day in prison; and Edward Miselevich and Ivan Voychak, Burman partners who jointly ran a related ambulette company, sentenced in June and July 2018 to three years in prison each.

View the full press release from the U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of New York.

New York State Office of the Medicaid Inspector General

Our mission is to enhance the integrity of the New York State Medicaid program by preventing and detecting fraudulent, abusive, and wasteful practices within the Medicaid program and recovering improperly expended Medicaid funds while promoting high-quality patient care.

Contact us: OMIG, 800 North Pearl Street, Albany, NY 12204. Phone: (518) 473-3782; Fax: (518) 474-6773; Fraud Hotline: 1-(877) 87-FRAUD/1-(877) 873-7283

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