U.S. Attorney Announces Guilty Plea By A Chiropractor For Defrauding The NBA Players’ Health And Welfare Benefit Plan

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today that PATRICK KHAZIRAN, a/k/a “Dr. Pat,” pled guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud in connection with a scheme to defraud the National Basketball Association (“NBA”) Players’ Health and Welfare Benefit Plan. KHAZIRAN pled guilty before U.S. District Judge Valerie E. Caproni. 

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said:  “Khaziran abused his position as a medical services provider by creating fraudulent invoices and defrauding the NBA Players’ Health and Welfare Benefit Plan of at least $1.3 million.  I thank our law enforcement partners in the FBI for their hard work unraveling this pervasive scheme.  My office will continue to investigate those who abuse their positions as medical service providers to commit fraud.”   

According to the Information, public court filings, and statements made in court:

The NBA Players’ Health and Welfare Benefit Plan (the “Plan”) is a health care plan providing benefits to eligible active and former players of the NBA.  KHAZIRAN is a chiropractor licensed in the State of California who owns and operates a chiropractic office (“Chiropractic Office-1”), which is a chiropractic and rehabilitation office in Los Angeles, California. Chiropractic Office-1 serves the general public and also provides rehabilitation services to professional athletes.

From at least in or about 2016, up to and including at least in or about 2019,  KHAZIRAN participated in a scheme with other several former NBA players, including Terrence Williams and Keyon Dooling, to defraud the Plan.[1]  KHAZIRAN’s role in the scheme was to document that former NBA players received certain medical services when, in truth and in fact, the medical services were never provided. 

KHAZIRAN accomplished his role in the scheme in two ways.  First, beginning in 2016, KHAZIRAN created, and caused others to create, fraudulent invoices for former NBA players.  The former NBA players that received fraudulent invoices then, in turn, submitted the fraudulent invoices to the Plan to request reimbursements that they were not entitled to. Second, KHAZIRAN charged, and caused others to charge, the Plan-issued debit cards of former NBA players.  The Plan-issued debit cards were intended to be used by Plan participants to pay for eligible medical services at the point of service.  However, KHAZIRAN charged the Plan-issued debit cards of former NBA players for medical services that were never actually provided.  In return for his participation in the scheme, KHAZIRAN received approximately 33% of the fraudulent proceeds he documented—i.e., 33% of the value of the fraudulent invoices and 33% of the fraudulent charges on Plan-issued debit cards, which totaled approximately $1.3 million.  The remaining fraudulent proceeds were kept by the former NBA players KHAZIRAN conspired with.

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KHAZIRAN, 40, of Los Angeles, California, pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, which carries a maximum term of ten years in prison.  As part of his guilty plea, KHAZIRAN agreed to pay restitution of $1,300,000 and to forfeit $429,000 to the United States.  KHAZIRAN is scheduled to be sentenced on January 12, 2023.

The maximum potential sentence in this case is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge.

Mr. Williams praised the outstanding investigative work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The prosecution of this case is being handled by the Office’s Complex Frauds and Cybercrime Unit.  Assistant United States Attorneys Ryan B. Finkel and Kristy J. Greenberg are in charge of the prosecution.

 

 


[1] Charges against Williams and Dooling are pending.