HOUSTON (CN) - Federal prosecutors accused a South Texas doctor and his attorney-wife of insurance fraud and violating the U.S. embargo against Iran by sending $1.1 million there.
A federal jury charged Dr. Hossein Lahiji, a urologist, and his wife, Najmeh Vahid Lahiji, both of McAllen and San Antonio, in a four-count indictment.
Hossein Lahiji owns a stake in Doctor's Hospital at Renaissance in Edinburg, Texas, the U.S. Attorney's Office said in a statement.
The indictment alleges the couple used an unlicensed money transfer business to skirt U.S. banking regulations and send $1.1 million to Iran, some of it profits from their health insurance fraud.
The indictment claims the defendants billed health insurers for urology services performed by Lahiji when he was outside of the United States, and that there were "specific days in which Hossein Lahiji claimed to treat between 65 to 117 patients per day during the office hours of 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.," prosecutors said in the statement.
The alleged scheme lasted nearly a decade and involved Medicare, Medicaid and other major health insurers, prosecutors said.
If convicted of all charges, the Lahijis each face up to 30 years in federal prison and $1.25 million in fines.
They are scheduled for a trial before a federal jury in Houston beginning March 25.
They are also set for trial in Oregon Federal Court on June 4 for unrelated charges.
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