BUFFALO, N.Y.( release) -- U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Ghulam Mustafa, 48, of Albion, New York, pleaded guilty before Judge Richard J. Arcara, to a felony charge of making false statements in connection with a health care matter. The charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Assistant U.S. Attorney MaryEllen Kresse, who is handling the case, stated that on multiple occasions between January 2005 and December 2007, Mustafa, a physician working with Hassan Medical Group in Albion, New York, submitted claims to health insurance companies seeking reimbursement for vaccines he administered to patients. The patients were insured by those companies but Mustafa received the vaccines for free through the Vaccines for Children Program - a federally funded program administered by New York State. The program is designed to provide free vaccines to underprivileged children. Mustafa falsely indicated that more patients were eligible for the free vaccines than actually were. As a result, the defendant received over $80,000 in reimbursements from private insurance companies to which he was not entitled.
“Our Office will not tolerate any attempts to defraud our country’s health care sector,” said U.S. Attorney Hochul. “In this case, the defendant targeted not only private health insurance companies but also a federal program designed to provide health care assistance to those who need it most.”
The guilty plea is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Richard Kollmar and Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, New York Region, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Thomas O'Donnell.
Sentencing is scheduled for August 5, 2011 at 1:00 p.m. before Judge Arcara.