TOLEDO – A federal jury on Monday, Oct. 24, 2022, convicted the founder and owner of Blue Line Express Taxi & Medical Transport, a Toledo-area ambulette transportation business, of three counts of healthcare fraud following a three-day trial before Judge Jeffrey J. Helmick in Toledo.
According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Abdul Haji Faqi, 46, of Toledo, was found guilty of participating in a scheme that knowingly submitted and received reimbursement payments from Medicaid for ineligible claims. Faqi’s co-defendants pleaded guilty and were sentenced earlier this year for their part in the scheme.
Between 2009 and 2016, Faqi schemed with his co-defendants to transport and bill Medicaid for ambulette transportation services of Medicaid beneficiaries who did not require or use a wheelchair. Faqi and his co-defendants knew that Medicaid only provided ambulette reimbursement for recipients who did require the use of a wheelchair and were actually transported in a wheelchair.
In addition, as part of the scheme to defraud, evidence presented during the trial showed that Faqi and his co-defendants billed Medicaid for wheelchair attendants without actually providing any attendants. Furthermore, evidence showed that Faqi and his co-defendants billed Medicaid for trips with multiple riders as separate individual trips, thereby inflating their Medicaid billing.
Faqi and his co-defendants also failed to obtain, and falsified, ambulette Certification of Medical Necessity (CMN) documents from Medicaid recipients that they transported. Faqi and the others knew and understood that Medicaid required a CMN for each recipient transported.
In total, court documents state that Faqi and his co-defendants received over $800,000 in reimbursements from Medicaid to which they were not entitled.
Faqi is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 13, 2023.
This case was investigated by the Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS OIG), the Ohio Attorney General’s Healthcare Fraud Section and the Toledo Resident Agency of the Cleveland FBI. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Jody L. King and Michael J. Freeman.