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City Official Arrested On Fraud Charges

By Samantha Abernethy in News on Jul 24, 2011 7:00PM

A City Hall official described as a "big shooter" was arrested on charges of healthcare fraud on Wednesday. Mohammed K. Rashed, 45, was arrested at his office, where he is a coordinating engineer for the city’s Department of Transportation. Rashed was allegedly involved in a scheme that pocketed about $1.5 million in Medicare funds through the company House Call Physicians, LLC. His partners in were co-owner Bahir H. Khalil and employee Paschal U. Oparah.

The defendants allegedly billed for podiatry services as if they were performed by a licensed podiatrist — when they were actually carried out by Oparah, whose podiatry license was suspended.

Prosecutors also say the company falsely certified that patients were eligible for home health services and billed Medicare for unnecessary medical services.

The fraud was unrelated to Rashed's job with the city, but a City Hall source told the Sun-Times that, "To have him led out of the office in handcuffs is stunning."