The owner of a Union County, New Jersey home health care agency has acknowledged his involvement in a scheme that bilked Medicaid out of $7 million, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced Tuesday.
Paul Mil, 66, of Springfield, New Jersey, pleaded guilty to federal charges of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, money laundering and tax evasion. Mil, who owned People Choice Home Care Inc., a home health care agency located in Elizabeth, New Jersey that provided home health aides and health care services to New Jersey residents, was one of 11 people arrested in 2013 in connection with a large-scale fraud scheme. He also served as the registered agent for HHCH Health Care Inc. in Linden, New Jersey, another home health agency.
Mil, the owner of HHCH Health Care and several others were accused of defrauding Medicaid in a variety of ways, according to a news release. The charges included billing for treatment and services not actually rendered; obtaining fraudulent home health aide certifications for employees and others; and using people living in the country illegally to provide services and billing Medicaid, claiming the services had been provided by certified home health aides.
In obtaining fraudulent certification, the group submitted false documents to the New Jersey Board of Nursing, the state agency responsible for issuing home health aide certifications. The owner of HHCH Health Care claimed the prospective aides had attended and completed required training and testing, when in fact the owner had charged them hundreds of dollars to fraudulently obtain their certifications.
The group proceeded to bill Medicaid for services not actually administered to patients. Several HHCH Health Care workers falsified records to reflect they had visited patients and provided them health care services, when in fact they had other jobs, were on vacations overseas or were in other parts of the state, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office. In some cases, they provided patients also participating in the scheme with cash kickbacks.
Further, the group hired people who didn’t have home health certifications and weren’t living in the country legally, and then sent them to patients’ homes, subsequently billing Medicaid and claiming the services had been provided by certified workers.
The scheme resulted in $7 million in payments from Medicaid, which were used by Mil to purchase real estate and personal property after Medicaid paid the claims and transferred the funds into bank accounts that Mil controlled. Mil also bilked the IRS out of approximately $918,000 in taxes between 2007 and 2011.
Nine others, including the owner of HHCH Heath Care, have pleaded guilty to their roles in the fraud.
Sentencing for Mil has been scheduled for May 3. He faces a maximum of 10 years in prison for the conspiracy and money laundering counts, a maximum of five years in prison for the tax evasion count and a fine of $250,000 on each count. He will also have to pay $7 million in forfeiture money to the U.S. and give up six homes and properties in New Jersey and New York, along with hundreds of thousands of dollars seized from bank accounts he controlled.
Written by Kourtney Liepelt