NJ officials: Luxury cars seized after imaging fraud bust

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New Jersey investigators said that Lamborghini and Ferrari sports cars were among the items seized from the 9,000-sq-ft mansion of an individual charged with running a scheme that allegedly paid physicians kickbacks for Medicaid referrals.

On June 17, New Jersey officials raided more than a dozen locations associated with Diagnostic Imaging Affiliates (DIA) of Hackensack. DIA is owned by Rehan "Ray" Zuberi, and is an umbrella corporation that manages a number of subsidiary medical imaging facilities in northern and central New Jersey.

Zuberi was arrested during the raids, with bail set at $1 million. Some 12 other individuals have been charged in connection with the investigation.

NJ officials seized assets including luxury sports cars. Image courtesy of the attorney general's office.NJ officials seized assets including luxury sports cars. Image courtesy of the attorney general's office.

In a June 19 press conference, state officials provided details of the investigation, which they dubbed Operation RayScam. They charge that under Zuberi's alleged direction, DIA and its affiliates "paid more than $300,000 in illegal kickbacks to multiple medical practitioners" for patient referrals for medical imaging exams such as MRI and PET scans.

The kickbacks were paid using checks from shell corporations allegedly created by the company, as well as gift cards and gift certificates. Zuberi's operation allegedly disguised the payment of kickbacks by providing doctors with services such as patient transportation, according to investigators.

New Jersey officials charged that the scheme submitted more than 30,000 claims to Medicaid and thousands more to other healthcare insurance payors. The claims resulted in payments from Medicaid of about $8 million from 2008 to 2013. The Zuberi enterprise is also charged with failing to pay state taxes.

This isn't the first time that Zuberi has fun afoul of the law. He pleaded guilty in 1998 to Medicaid fraud charges, was sentenced to six years in prison, and was barred from the Medicaid program. Investigators charged that on release from prison, Zuberi allegedly used other individuals to submit applications for provider status to the state department of health, concealing his ownership of the facilities.

Arrested along with Zuberi was his wife, Humara Paracha; his father, Nawab Zuberi; Paracha's brother, Faisal Paracha; and nine other individuals. In the course of the investigation, officials seized many of the assets of the Zuberi enterprise, including more than $100,000 in cash and luxury sports cars such as Lamborghinis and Ferraris. They also placed a lien on Zuberi's mansion in Boonton Township.

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