Three other family members were convicted in August 2010 of a plot to defraud state and federal governments.
Attorney General John Kroger today announced the arrest of a fugitive wanted in connection with an elaborate health care fraud scheme that has already netted three felony convictions.
“Defrauding government health care programs is unacceptable,” said Keith Dubanevich, Chief of Staff and Special Counsel to Attorney General Kroger. “We will not tolerate individuals who steal from important government programs.”
Ahmad Hamad (DOB: 03-03-63) was arrested Monday on warrants from Washington County Circuit Court charging him with 47 felony counts Theft in the First Degree and Making False Claims for Health Care Payment.
A criminal defendant is considered innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
The Oregon Department of Justice in August 2010 obtained convictions of three of Hamad’s family members for defrauding the government out of almost $100,000. Hamad had also been charged, but had left the country before he could be arrested.
Last month, the Department of Justice learned that Hamad re-entered the country and was in a Portland-area hospital. The U.S. Marshals Service arrested Hamad today as he was about to be discharged.
Hamad was initially charged with his sister, Rania Hamad (DOB: 05/15/76); her husband Zack Maysi (DOB: 07-28-65); and her mother, Nahla Awad (DOB: 11/1/37).
The charges followed an 8-month investigation by the Oregon Department of Justice Medicaid Fraud Unit and the U.S. Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, with assistance from the U.S. Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General and FBI.
The joint investigation determined that between 2006 and 2009, Nahla Awad and Ahmad Hamad allegedly falsely claimed severe and progressive disabilities to qualify for government assistance. Rania Hamad, with the help of her husband Maysi, applied for funding through the Oregon Medicaid home care program to care for her brother and mother.
Their scheme began to unravel in early 2009 when an anonymous informant called the Oregon Department of Human Services, which in turn contacted the Department’s Medicaid Fraud Unit. The tipster reported that Rania Hamad was scamming the system and was not actually providing care to Awad and Ahmad Hamad.
In fact, Nahla Awad was in Abu Dhabi for 31 of the 48 months in which Rania Hamad was her supposed caretaker. Medicaid and Social Security payments were remitted to Nahla while she was outside of the United States and therefore ineligible for benefits. Rania and her mother Nahla also lied about the nature of their relationship in order to qualify for funding as a homecare worker.
All three were convicted August 17, 2010 in Washington County Circuit Court on a variety of charges, including Theft in the First Degree and Making False Claims for Health Care Payment. Rania Hamad was sentenced to 13 months in prison for stealing almost $100,000 from state and federal Medicaid programs. Rania Hamad and two other family members paid $93,583.96 in restitution at sentencing, resulting in a full recovery for the State of Oregon.
At the time of the sentencing, a felony arrest warrant remained active for Ahmad Hamad, who was believed to be in Abu Dhabi.
Senior Assistant Attorney General Donna Maddux is prosecuting the case.
Attorney General John Kroger leads the Oregon Department of Justice. The Department’s mission is to fight crime and fraud, protect the environment, improve child welfare, promote a positive business climate, and defend the rights of all Oregonians.
Tony Green, (503) 378-6002 firstname.lastname@example.org