A surgeon who practiced on Long Island and in Brooklyn will repay and forfeit a total of more than $14 million and serve 13 years in prison for defrauding Medicare, a judge said Wednesday.
Dr. Syed Ahmed, of Glen Head, billed Medicare for more than $85 million between 2011 and 2013, prosecutors said.
After an 11-day trial, a federal jury found him guilty in 2016 of health care fraud, three counts of making false claims about health care matters, and two counts of money laundering, they said.
The surgeon, who practiced at Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center and Wyckoff Heights Medical Center in Brooklyn, Franklin Hospital in Valley Stream, and Mercy Medical Center in Rockville Centre, also must pay a $20,000 fine, they said.
“Dr. Syed Ahmed treated Medicare like a personal piggy bank, stealing over $7.2 million by making fraudulent claims for medical procedures he never performed,” U.S. Attorney Donoghue of the Eastern District of New York said in a statement.
An attorney for the doctor declined to comment.
The defendant billed the federal health program for incising, draining and debriding wounds — “phony surgeries” he did not perform, prosecutors said.
The treatments were billed as if they were carried out in operating rooms, which drove up the payouts, they said.
“The fraud scheme that Dr. Ahmed engaged in was motivated by pure greed,” said Scott J. Lampert, special agent-in-charge, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General Office of Investigations, New York Region.
When the charges were unveiled in 2014, prosecutors said they filed a civil forfeiture complaint against Ahmed’s Long Island residence, valued at about $4 million.
That home now is in foreclosure, court records show.
Joan Gralla is a general assignment reporter who also covers parks, flood control and Holocaust restitution. She’s a former Reuters correspondent who covered politics, economics and markets.