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Post date: October 2 2000

Podiatry Clinic Operator Admits To Conspiring To Steal $1 Million

Attorney General Spitzer today announced that Mohammed Kabir, the former operator of a Brooklyn podiatry clinic, has admitted to conspiring with clinic podiatrists and others to steal more than $1 million from State taxpayers through the Medicaid program. In carrying out the scheme, Kabir and the others lured recipients to the clinic with offers of free Chinese food and sneakers, and then billed taxpayers for medically unnecessary prescriptions.

Kabir, who left the United States four years ago while under investigation by the Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU), was apprehended in Germany in November 1999 after the MFCU notified Interpol that it had received information that Kabir was planning to fly there from his native Bangladesh. He was returned to the United States in March after spending four months in a German prison awaiting extradition.

Kabir appeared late last week in Brooklyn Supreme Court before Justice Anne G. Feldman and pleaded guilty to Conspiracy (to Commit Grand Larceny in the First Degree). As part of his plea, Kabir agreed to pay $150,000 in restitution and sign a judgment for $850,000.

Sentencing was set for November 28, 2000.

Attorney General Spitzer said, "This investigation and prosecution by my Medicaid Fraud Control Unit drives home our message: If you are stealing from State taxpayers, we will find you - even overseas - and prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law."

In March 1996, three podiatrists at the Myrtle Avenue Clinic who participated in the five-year scheme - Drs. Alan Leshnower, Jeff Everett Robbins, and Joanne Conte - were charged with stealing nearly $3 million from Medicaid. They were subsequently convicted on felony charges - including grand larceny and hindering prosecution.

Kabir, 54, lives at 109-41 108th Street in Ozone Park, Queens. The Myrtle Avenue Clinic was located at 892 Myrtle Avenue in Brooklyn.

The Attorney General thanked Interpol, the U.S. State Department, the Department of Justice, and the U.S. Marshals Service for their assistance and cooperation during the investigation.

Special Assistant Attorney General Eleanor J. Clark, of the New York City Regional Office of the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, prosecuted the case. All cases are handled under the direct supervision of Deputy Attorney General Jos? Maldonado.