BY: Follow @lachlan
The Department of Health and Human Services added a high-dollar Democratic donor to its list of most-wanted fugitives on Friday in connection with a widespread scheme of alleged Medicare and Medicaid fraud.
Dr. Yousef Kurdy owned and operated a California business called the Broadway Medical Center. He was arrested on charges of fraud, aggravated identity theft, aiding and abetting, criminal forfeiture, tax evasion, and violations of anti-kickback laws in January of 2012.
According to investigators, Kurdy fraudulently billed Medicare and Medi-Cal, California’s state Medicaid agency, over $150,000 for fictional patient visits.
“Investigators believe that Kurdy billed for office visits on dates that he was out of town, was attending continuing medical education classes, the patients were out of town, or the patients were deceased,” HHS inspector general said.
Kurdy also allegedly received kickbacks for referring patients with fraudulent prescriptions to area pharmacies, resulting in an additional $1 million in fraudulent Medicare and Medi-Cal billings.
Kurdy indicated that he would turn himself in after authorities issued a warrant for his arrest in January 2012.
His legal problems arose early in the 2012 election cycle, but Kurdy was active in prior cycles, donating thousands of dollars to Democrats.
According to FEC data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics, Kurdy donated $12,000 to the Democratic National Committee in 2009 and 2010.
He also donated $500 to Sen. Barbara Boxer (D., Calif.) during her reelection run in 2010, and $2,000 to Barack Obama during his 2008 presidential campaign.
HHS’ IG said on Friday that he is now considered one of the agency’s ten “most wanted fugitives.”
Investigators suspect that Kurdy may currently be in Syria. He obtained his medical degree in that country at the University of Aleppo