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Post date: January 11 2001

Monroe County Doctor Admits To Cheating Medicaid And Blue Cross/blue Shield

Attorney General Spitzer today announced that a physician who specialized in obstetrics and gynecology has admitted to intentionally defrauding the Medicaid program and Blue Cross/Blue Shield by double billing for services.

Appearing today in Monroe County Supreme Court, Atif Wahba pleaded guilty to two counts of Petit Larceny in satisfaction of the charges pending against him. As part of his plea, Wahba also agreed to make restitution totaling $41,379 to the Medicaid program and Blue Cross/Blue Shield.

Sentencing was set for March 1st, at which time Wahba faces up to two years in prison.

"The Medicaid program was designed to assist citizens in need," said Spitzer. "If you steal taxpayer dollars, my message is simple: you will be caught and prosecuted."

Spitzer thanked Blue Cross/Blue Shield of the Rochester Area for its cooperation and assistance during the course of the investigation.

Between January 1991 and September 1998, Wahba double-billed Medicaid by charging for post-delivery and post-surgical visits that had already been paid for as part of the delivery charge or surgery. Wahba also billed Blue Cross/Blue Shield for fetal monitoring non-stress tests that were actually performed by staff at local hospitals. A hospital would perform the service, submit a bill, and send its findings to Wahba. Wahba would then falsely bill the insurance company, claiming that he performed the tests.

Wahba previously had offices in Spencerport and Brockport before the State revoked his medical license in November 1999 for negligence and incompetence,

Wahba, 49, lives at 6 Valley Meadow Drive in Spencerport.

The case was prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorney General Jerry M. Solomon, Director of the Rochester Regional Office of the Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. All cases are handled under the direct supervision of Deputy Attorney General Jos?? Maldonado.