For Immediate Release:
Wednesday, June 14, 2023
Contact: Nazneen Ahmed
(RALEIGH) Attorney General Josh Stein today announced that Aljihad Shabazz of Kernersville pleaded guilty for his role in a health care fraud scheme that defrauded the North Carolina Medicaid program of more than $4.7 million.
“This health care provider used people’s personal information to cheat the Medicaid program and pocket that money for his own profit,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “My office will hold accountable providers when they break the law and defraud taxpayers.”
Shabazz owned and operated Reign & Inspirations, LLC, (R&I), a clinic that provided outpatient behavioral services in the Greensboro area. Between 2017 and 2020, Shabazz conspired with others to submit fake reimbursement claims to Medicaid for services that were never provided to Medicaid beneficiaries. As Shabazz admitted in court today, he obtained the personal identifying information (PII) of Medicaid beneficiaries through community outreach programs, including football and mentoring programs. He then misused the beneficiaries’ PII to create and submit more than 1,500 fraudulent reimbursement claims to Medicaid to receive payment for services that were never in fact provided by R&I. Some of the claims stated that R&I provided services that exceeded 24 hours in a single day.
Court records show that the reimbursement payments made by Medicaid were deposited in bank accounts under Shabazz’s control. Shabazz used a portion of the fraudulent proceeds to pay his co-conspirators, cover personal expenses, including personal travel, luxury items, and timeshares, and make cash withdrawals.
A sentencing date has not been set. The investigation and prosecution of this case was conducted by the North Carolina Department of Justice’s Medicaid Investigations Division, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of North Carolina, the FBI’s Charlotte Division, and the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Division.
About the Medicaid Investigations Division (MID)
The Attorney General’s MID investigates and prosecutes health care providers that defraud the Medicaid program, patient abuse of Medicaid recipients, patient abuse of any patient in facilities that receive Medicaid funding, and misappropriation of any patients’ private funds in nursing homes that receive Medicaid funding.
To date, the MID has recovered more than $1 billion in restitution and penalties for North Carolina. To report Medicaid fraud or patient abuse in North Carolina, call the MID at 919-881-2320. The MID receives 75 percent of its funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under a grant award totaling $6,106,236 for Federal fiscal year (FY) 2022. The remaining 25 percent, totaling $2,035,412 for FY 2022, is funded by the State of North Carolina.