On January 21, 2015, doctor Benjamin Sabido, 62, of Franklin Lakes, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Claire C. Cecchi in Newark federal court to an information charging him with health care fraud.
Sabido admitted his role in a three-year scheme to bill Medicare for services that were not provided, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced. His offices, located in Newark, Union City, Paterson and Passaic, were staffed with unqualified and unlicensed employees and physical therapists. He was able to instruct these staff members to submit bills for physical therapy serves that were not in fact provided. He authorized and encouraged these staff members to provide physical therapy services, including electrical stimulation, massage, and other therapeutic services.
According to documents filed in this case, statements made in court and the civil settlement agreement:
From at least December 2006 through April 2010, Sabido received $237,182 from Medicare and Medicaid based upon fraudulent claims for nerve conduction studies for which Sabido’s patient charts do not establish that the services were medically necessary or, in some cases, even rendered.
The count of health care fraud to which Sabido pleaded guilty carries a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gain or loss caused by the offense. Sentencing is scheduled for May 14, 2015.
Sabido will pay $700,545, plus interest, to resolve allegations arising from Sabido’s submission of claims for physical therapy and nerve conduction studies.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Scott J. Lampert, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.
The government is represented in the criminal case by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Mack, Deputy Chief of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Health Care and Government Fraud Unit, and in the civil settlement by Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles Graybow of the Health Care and Government Fraud Unit.
U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman reorganized the health care fraud practice at the New Jersey U.S. Attorney’s Office shortly after taking office, including creating a stand-alone Health Care and Government Fraud Unit to handle both criminal and civil investigations and prosecutions of health care fraud offenses. Since 2010, the office has recovered more than $625 million in health care fraud and government fraud settlements, judgments, fines, restitution and forfeiture under the False Claims Act, the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act and other statutes.