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U.S. Attorney Trini E. Ross announced today that James A. Sakr, M.D., has agreed to pay $602,661.61 to resolve allegations, arising under the False Claims Act, that he fraudulently billed Medicare and Medicaid for procedures that were not medically necessary or that he did not perform.
Assistant U.S. Attorney David M. Coriell, who handled the case, stated that from at least January 1, 2014, to December 31, 2019, Dr. Sakr, an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) doctor based in Dansville, NY, billed Medicare and Medicaid for procedures not performed at all or were not documented in patient medical records.
“This health care provider billed for services and procedures that he did not perform and for which he was paid with the public’s money,” stated U.S. Attorney Ross. “The resolution of this case holds Dr. Sakr accountable for his actions and requires him to return the money he should not have received from Medicare and Medicaid. Our office will continue to root out fraud in federal healthcare programs and hold those who defraud the public accountable.”
The civil settlement includes the resolution of claims brought under the qui tam or whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act by Lee M. Mandel, M.D., FACS. Under those provisions, a private party can file an action on behalf of the United States and receive a portion of any recovery. The qui tam case is captioned United States ex rel. Mandel v. Sakr, 17-cv-907 (W.D.N.Y.). Dr. Mandel will receive a share of the settlement.
The resolution of this matter was the result of a coordinated effort between the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of New York, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, and the New York State Attorney General’s Office Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.