Westfield doctor, two companies agree to pay $5.25 million for allegedly submitting false claims to federal health care programs

NEWARK — Dr. Labib E. Riachi, 47, of Westfield, and two companies that he owns and operates, Riachi, Inc. and Center for Advanced Pelvic Surgery, LLC, both based in Westfield, have agreed to pay $5.25 million to resolve allegations that they falsely billed federal health care programs for tests that were never provided, among other claims, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced yesterday.

The settlement resolves allegations that the defendants routinely billed Medicare and Medicaid for anorectal manometry, an invasive diagnostic test, and electromyography, another diagnostic test, even though most of the tests were never performed. In addition, the settlement resolves claims that the defendants submitted claims to Medicare for physical therapy services that should not have been paid because they were not performed by a qualified therapist.

The allegations resolved by today’s settlement were raised in a civil lawsuit that the government filed on Feb. 10, in Newark federal court charging the defendants with violating the False Claims Act, among other illegal conduct.

Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Andrew Campi in Newark, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Scott J. Lampert, with the investigation leading to the settlement.

The government was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Bernard J. Cooney and Lucy Muzzy of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Health Care and Government Fraud Unit in Newark.

Fishman reorganized the health care fraud practice at the New Jersey U.S. Attorney’s Office shortly after taking office, including creating a stand-alone Health Care and Government Fraud Unit to handle both criminal and civil investigations and prosecutions of health care fraud offenses. Since 2010, the office has recovered more than $645 million in health care fraud and government fraud settlements, judgments, fines, restitution and forfeiture under the False Claims Act, the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act and other statutes.

The claims settled by this agreement are allegations only, and there has been no determination of liability. The case is captioned United States v. Riachi, et al. (D.N.J.).

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