A man who previously spent six years in jail after pleading guilty to defrauding Medicaid has been charged again with bilking the system out of millions of dollars, Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman announced in a release Thursday.
According to Hoffman, Rehan “Ray” Zuberi, 45, of Boonton Township, the owner of Diagnostic Imaging Affiliates (DIA) of Hackensack, was arrested Tuesday. Zuberi allegedly used the network of medical businesses to run a "criminal enterprise" that provided hundreds of thousands of dollars in illegal kickbacks to medical practitioners in exchange for patient referrals to his testing facilities, Hoffman said.
He and a network of accomplices are also accused of submitting fraudulent applications to the New Jersey Medicaid program and Department of Health, and not paying income and franchise taxes, Hoffman said.
Authorities say Zuberi and his associates paid over $300,000 in illegal kickbacks to physicians and chiropractors in return for referrals to DIA centers for tests like MRIs and PET Scans, Hoffman said.
In 1998, Zuberi, who had been the manager of a medical clinic in Paterson, pleaded guilty to second- and third-degree charges for having defrauded Medicaid, the release said. He was sentenced to six years in jail, and debarred from the Medicaid program, it said.
This time around, authorities say Zuberi and his associates concealed his ownership of DIA, submitted more than 30,000 claims to Medicaid and thousands more to other health insurance companies, and collected about $8 million in payments from Medicaid between 2008 and 2013.
The operation is known as "RayScam."
Zuberi was charged with racketeering, money laundering, commercial bribery, Medicaid fraud, and numerous other charges, Hoffman said.
Twelve alleged accomplices were also charged in the scheme, the Attorney General said. The following were also charged with rackateering, he said:
- Humara Paracha, 38, of Boonton Township, Rehan Zuberi’s wife and president of DIA;
- Baber “Bob” Eskar, 49, of Pompton Lakes, Zuberi’s close associate and chief operating officer of DIA;
- Rohit Gupta, 38, of Edison, President of American Imaging of Edison and owner of Medimax, a medical billing company that processed DIA’s insurance claims; and
- Faisal Paracha, 30, of Fords, Rehan Zuberi’s brother-in-law, and part owner/manager of American Imaging of West Orange;
The following also charged Tuesday are allegedly officers/managers of the companies within Zuberi’s enterprise, Hoffman said:
- Nawab Zuberi, 73, of Boonton, Rehan Zuberi’s father, and officer/director of DIA;
- Salman Siddiqui, 37, of Lake Hopatcong, Rehan Zuberi’s brother-in law, and office manager of American Imaging of Montville;
- Felix Clarin, 44, of Florham Park, manager of American Imaging of Jersey City;
- Judith DeLeon, 50, of Bloomfield, manager of American Imaging of Hackensack;
- Natividad Urena, 31, of Clifton, manager of American Imaging of Union City.
Other alleged accomplices included:
- Abid Syed, 37, of East Hanover, who was the alleged financial controller of Zuberi's alleged enterprise
- Thomas Grecco, 25, of Clifton, who worked in the accounting department of American Imaging of Hackensack
- Jose Lopez, 51,of Passaic, an employee of the organization
As part of the investigation, more than a dozen search warrants were executed Tuesday morning at locations that included 10 DIA-owned facilities, the offices of DIA’s billing company and three homes, Hoffman said.
According to authorities, cops seized the company's assets, including $100,000 cash, Lamborghinis, Ferraris, and other luxury items, from:
- Diagnostic Imaging Affiliates/Medical & Molecular Imaging - 155 State Street, Hackensack, Bergen County, New Jersey;
- Medical & Molecular Imaging/American Imaging of Englewood - 177 North Dean Avenue, Suite 202, Englewood, Bergen County, New Jersey;
- American Imaging of Edison/Diagnostic Imaging Group of Edison - 1921 Oak Tree Road, Suite 100, Edison, Middlesex County, New Jersey;
- American Imaging of Jersey City/Open MRI, An American Imaging Affiliate - 547 Summit Avenue, Jersey City, Hudson County, New Jersey;
- American Imaging of Jersey City - 550 Summit Avenue, Jersey City, Hudson County, New Jersey
- Garden State Imaging/American Imaging of Elizabeth - 315 Elmora Avenue, Second Floor, Elizabeth, Union County, New Jersey;
- American Imaging Center of West Orange - 61 Main Street, Suite A, West Orange, Essex County, New Jersey;
- Medical & Molecular Imaging/Medical Imaging of Wayne - 516 Hamburg Turnpike, Suites 6 To 8, Wayne, Passaic County, New Jersey;
- American Imaging of Montville/The Imaging Center of Montville - 350 Main Road, Suite 100, Montville, Morris County, New Jersey;
- American Imaging of Union City - 120-152 48th Street, Union City, Hudson County, New Jersey;
- Medimax Group, 22 Meridian Road, Suites 2 & 7, Edison, Middlesex County, New Jersey;
- Residence of Rehan Zuberi (A/K/A Ray Zuberi), Old Timber Trail, Boonton, Morris County, New Jersey;
- Residence of Faisal Paracha, De Grasse Street, Fords, Middlesex County, New Jersey;
- Residence of Baber Eskar, Ridge Drive, Pompton Lakes, Passaic County, New Jersey.
“This enterprise allegedly bilked millions of dollars from Medicaid, a program designed to help New Jersey’s most vulnerable population...This type of criminal activity impacts not just the agencies defrauded, but also law-abiding, tax-paying residents of New Jersey who are forced to cover the costs of the fraud.”
Zuberi's bail was set at $1 million, Hoffman said.