Dr. Sam Jahani, 49 of the Woodlands has been arrested and is appearing in Federal Court at this moment in Beaumont. Back in February Montgomery County Police Reporter broke the story of the investigation in Colorado involving Jahani.
This morning the indictment was unsealed in Colorado after he and Dr. Eric Peper were indicted by a Federal Grand Jury on August 3 on charges of health care fraud, money laundering and dispensing controlled substances resulting in death.
The indictment says that over a four-year period, Jahani and Peper committed fraud out of their medical clinics, Urgent Care Inc. in Delta, Montrose and Grand Junction. He also has listed on bankruptcy documents that he worked for Dr. D’s Urgent Care in the Woodlands making $15,000 a month. According to Dr. Delaflor-Weiss the owner of Dr. D’s in Montgomery County Jahani came to him for a job but never worked there. Delaflor-Weiss is not involved in the investigation or being investigated.
According to the indictment, which was unsealed at the time the
defendants were arrested, between January 1, 2006, and April 30, 2010,
in Colorado, Jahani and Peper did knowingly and willfully execute and
attempt to execute a scheme to defraud health care benefit programs,
namely Medicaid, Medicare, and commercial health care plans, and to
obtain, by means of material false and fraudulent pretenses, money and
property owned by and under the custody and control of these health care
benefit programs, in connection with the delivery of and payment for
health care benefits, items and services.
Specifically, Jahani operated a medical business called Urgent
Care, Inc. which was formed on November 1, 2005. He conducted business
using the Urgent Care name at three locations: 1) 164 West 3rd Street in
Delta, Colorado; 2) 2305 South Townsend Avenue, Unit B in Montrose,
Colorado; and 3) 517 North 1st Street in Grand Junction, Colorado.
Peper was an employee of Jahani, and worked at the Delta and Grand
Jahani and Peper allegedly prescribed controlled substances to
patients without determining a sufficient medical necessity for the
prescription to patients in a manner which was inconsistent with the
usual course of professional practice and for other than legitimate
medical purposes. Further, they caused patients to fill prescriptions
for controlled substances at various pharmacies, allowing the pharmacies
to file claims and obtain reimbursement for those prescriptions from
health care benefit programs used by the patients submitting the
prescriptions. As part of the scheme, Jahani and Peper prescribed
controlled substances in quantities and dosages that would cause
patients to abuse, misuse, and become addicted to the controlled
substances. They also allegedly prescribed controlled substances to
patients knowing that their patients were addicted to the controlled
substances, misusing the controlled substances, or "doctor-shopping".
They also prescribed controlled substances knowing that their
prescribing endangered their patients’ lives, and if taken as directed,
their prescriptions would be expected to result in accidental fatal
overdoses. The controlled substances prescribed to patients were of
such strength that their prescribing became a contributing factor in the
patients’ overdose deaths. The prescriptions written by both doctors
included Schedule II pain killers, including Oxycodone (such as Percocet
and OxyContin), Morphine, Methadone and Fentanyl; Schedule III pain
killers, (such as Vicodin); and Schedule IV anti-anxiety medications,
such as Xanax, Valium, Ativan Ambien and Klonopin. As a result of the
doctor’s prescription practices, the indictment alleges that four people
Also, the two doctors knowingly falsified, and caused to be
falsified, medical records. They engaged in "upcoding" to be paid more
money from health care benefit programs, and Jahani billed patients and
caused patients to be billed for services not rendered, including
serviced claimed to have been provided to patients after the patients’
death. Lastly, Jahani and Peper and others performed acts and made
statements to hide, conceal, and cause to be hidden and concealed, the
fraudulent scheme and the acts committed in furtherance thereof.
"We count on medical doctors to use their training, skill and
judgment to provide the best possible care for their patients," said
U.S. Attorney John Walsh. "Our medical system requires doctors to
properly bill health care benefit programs, and when they don’t, they
can face criminal consequences. Also, when, as in this case, doctors
neglect their responsibilities and abuse the authority they are given to
prescribe medications in order to make money while risking the health of
their patients, we will act to protect the public with aggressive
"Illegal distribution and abuse of prescription drugs remains a
serious issue facing our state and nation," said DEA Acting Special
Agent in Charge Kevin Merrill. "Doctors Jahani and Peper were in a
position of trust, and they failed the community they serve. DEA will
continue to use our resources to investigate this type of drug
trafficking offense to help prevent prescription drugs from being
diverted into the wrong hands and endangering the health and public."
If convicted, Jahani faces life in federal prison, and up to a
$250,000 fine for each of the three counts of healthcare fraud resulting
in death. He faces not more than 10 years in prison and up to a
$250,000 fine for two counts of health care fraud. He faces not more
than 20 years in prison, and up to a $500,000 fine for one count of
money laundering conspiracy. He faces not more than 20 years, and up to
a $500,000 fine, or twice the value of the property involved, whichever
is greater, for ten counts of money laundering. He faces not less than
20 years in prison and up to life, and a fine of not more than
$1,000,000 for each of the three counts of dispensing a controlled
substance resulting in death. He faces not more than 20 years in
prison, and up to a $1,000,000 fine, for each of the twenty counts of
illegally dispensing a controlled substance. He lastly faces not more
than 10 years in prison, and up to a $500,000 fine for one count of
illegally dispensing a controlled substance.
If convicted, Peper faces life imprisonment, and not more than a
$250,000 fine for one count of healthcare fraud resulting in death. He
faces not more than 10 years, and up to a $250,000 fine, for each of
five counts of healthcare fraud. He faces not more than 20 years
imprisonment, and up to a $500,000 fine, or twice the value of the
property involved, whichever is greater, if convicted on one count of
money laundering conspiracy. He faces not more than 20 years in prison,
and up to a $500,000 fine, or twice the value of the property involved,
whichever is greater, for each of the three counts of money laundering.
He faces not less than 20 years, and up to life imprisonment, and up to
a $1,000,000 fine for two counts of dispensing a controlled substance
resulting in death. He faces not more than 20 years, and up to a
$1,000,000 fine, for each of twenty-four counts of illegally dispensing
a controlled substance. Lastly he faces not more than 10 years in
prison, and up to a $500,000 fine for each of two counts of illegally
dispensing a controlled substance.
This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement
Administration (DEA), Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector
General (HHS OIG), Western Colorado Drug Task Force/Grand Junction
Police Department, State of Colorado Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud
Control Unit and IRS-Criminal Investigation.
JAHANI COLORADO HOME
Filed Sun, Feb 6, 2011 by Scott Engle
A doctor whose license was suspended and who is facing charges from the US Attorney’s Office after the DEA raided his offices in Delta, Montrose and Grand Junction Colorado has very successful practices in Spring and Cleveland, Texas.
Doctor Sam Jahani, 49, of “Dr. D’s Urgent Care” cannot currently prescribe controlled substances in his home state of Colorado, but is not restricted from prescribing controls such as morphine or oxycontin in Texas. He has practiced medicine in the United States for seventeen years. Ten of those years have been in Texas with no specialty field. He has no hospital privileges in the State of Texas. Jahani does participate in Medicare and Medicaid. He has never been convicted of anything in Texas and his Medical Record here appears clean.The Federal Government prosecuted him for Medicare fraud but that case was later settled.
Jahani graduated from University of North Texas Health Science Center in Fort Worth. On December 5, 1988 and Texas issued him a physicians license. In 2000, the Justice Department joined a whistleblower lawsuit alleging Medicare fraud in excess of $200 million by a Dallas hospital called Integrated Health Services. The suit also named Jahani, then medical director at IHS and an internist in private practice in Dallas. The case was settled in 2004 with IHS agreeing to pay $19 million.
Jahani was first licensed in Colorado on April 13, 2000 and that license was renewed June 1, 2009. Just over 4 months later, DEA agents raided his Urgent Care Clinics in both Montrose and Grand Junction and his Delta, Colorado office.
All records were seized by Federal authorities and patients were given a number to call for the records to be transferred to their new medical doctor. Patients in those areas have complained to their local media outlets about being unable to acquire their records.
Jahani’s former office manager, Tonya Creel of Montrose, sued him in 2009 after having been fired last December. She claimed Jahani retaliated against her because she intended to blow the whistle on how Jahani allegedly "upcoded" Medicare, billing it for a higher level of care than was actually provided.
The suit claims relief under a section of the U.S. Code’s False Claims Act. Jahani denied Creel’s claims in subsequent filings.
"The potential False Claims Act violation as to which Creel was acting in furtherance involves the defendants overcharging Medicare for physician services Jahani, or other Urgent Care physicians, provided and the billing of Medicare for patient visits at the hospital and at nursing homes which Jahani did not actually make," Creel’s complaint stated.
"The information and belief is Creel’s knowledge of the defendants’ extensive efforts to keep their wrongful Medicare billing practices secret, as well as the fact that at the time of Creel’s termination reasonable efforts had not been made by the defendants to stop their wrongful practices."
The suit also alleges defamation.
Jahani denied Creel’s allegations and countersued, claiming Creel did not correctly deposit cash receipts. His counter complaint alleged theft and said Creel failed to state a claim for which the court can grant relief. Creel’s claims, the document says, are barred because of her "intentional acts."
"Defendants reasonably investigated all information that was presented by Creel during her employment," Jahani’s answer stated.
In 2003, Jahani and IHS Hospital of Dallas were sued under the False Claims Act, other U.S. District Court records show. He settled his case with the U.S. government in 2004.
The settlement included a Corporate Integrity Agreement that required an independent review organization to audit samples of his paid Medicare claims. Creel’s suit alleged records intended for the auditor were altered. On December 16, 2009 The State of Colorado took the following action:
Interim Practice Agreement wherein Respondent agrees not to administer, possess, dispense, prescribe, or otherwise authorize prescriptions for, any controlled substance as defined in section 12-22-303(7), C.R.S. This Agreement also prohibits prescribing controlled substances through any third party. Respondent shall not serve as a preceptor, mentor, and/or supervising physician for a nurse practitioner or physician assistant in any case in which the nurse practitioner or physician assistant administers, dispenses, prescribes, or otherwise authorizes prescriptions for, any controlled substance.
One patient who did not want to be identified stated,”First off, the doctor has the responsibility to treat a patient with many options to make this happen. I was made to believe I needed all these meds: 80mg of vicodine, 150mcg of Fentynal, Soma, Xanax, & Klonopin, ALL IN THE SAME DAY!!” “They gave me meds that interacted with each other which would make me pass out, making me crash into the Paonia bank.”
He continued,”I just believed I needed these meds. Not long after starting them, my decision skills went out the window. How couldn’t they? I was a zombie! These docs ruined my life and almost my marriage. They are just as guilty as a crack dealer on the corner.. They are legal drug dealers and I hope they get what they deserve.”
One week after the Feds moved in a Delta, Colorado Civil court entered a default judgment against Jahani in a Cedaredge man’s wrongful death suit. Plaintiff John Moore alleged Jahani over-prescribed Oxycotin and another medication to his elderly mother, Dorothy, who has since died.
Jahani reported he is earning $15,000 a month at an Urgent Care clinic in Texas, according to bankruptcy filings.
Dr. Sam Jahani and his wife, Christine, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in May, claiming they owed money to 64 creditors. They have listed their assets at about $4.3 million and their debt at $4.6 million.
The Jahanis list the building of the Montrose clinic, their Montrose home, their son’s Hotchkiss home and a vineyard in Hotchkiss as accounting for most of their assets, or about $4.2 million, according to the filing.
Jahani’s assets will be liquidated to pay secured creditors, to whom he owes more than $2.8 million, according to public court records. The unsecured creditors may be left with nothing.
Sam Jahani reported working for the months of May and June 2010 at Dr. D’s Urgent Care in Spring, Texas. While Jahani reports earning $15,000 a month, the couple lists their monthly expenses at $26,000 a month. They list attorney fees as their biggest expense at $12,000 a month. They list $3,000 for home maintenance and upkeep fees while renting two separate residences for a total of $4,000 a month. Each is listed as spending $1,000 a month on food. Christine Jahani listed spending $500 a month on recreation and entertainment and another $500 a month on laundry and dry cleaning.
In 2008, Sam Jahani reported earning more than $455,000, while Christine Jahani earned $31,265, according to the bankruptcy filing. In 2009, Sam Jahani reported earning $295,000, while his wife earned the same amount as the previous year. In 2010, Sam Jahani reported earning $61,247, and his wife reported no income.
In the year preceding their bankruptcy filing, the Jahanis reported giving almost $10,000 to churches and nonprofit organizations and giving $6,000 to two of their six children for graduate school and flight school.
The Jahanis owe almost $280,000 in federal taxes and $31,000 in state taxes, according to the bankruptcy filing. Other debts include: $42,000 in consumer debt on a Bank of America credit card; $40,000 to Grand Junction law firm Bechtel & Santo LLP; $700 to the city of Delta; $14,000 to David Vander Hoech for making cabinets; and $7,000 to Qwest for services.
As of this week many patients are still without their medical records and the case has yet gone to court.
A former patient said that she started seeing Jahani after a car accident. She was prescribed everything from Valium to liquid Morphine. Several were in dangerously high doses.
As he keeps his practices going in Texas with no restrictions as in Colorado the Feds are said to have him under their radar. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Denver has the case in his hands now.
Additional articles / information links:
Sam Jahani, D.O.; License # 38632
Nature of Complaint:
Inquiry Panel A of the Colorado State Board of Medical Examiners reviewed case number 2010-001589 which has raised concerns that the physician may not be able to practice medicine with reasonable safety and skill to patients.
The physician has entered into an Interim Practice Agreement with the Colorado State Board of Medical Examiners subject to the following terms and conditions:
· The physician may not administer, possess, dispense, prescribe or authorize prescriptions for any controlled substances including through any third party including but not limited to physician assistants, nurse practitioners or other physicians.
· The physician may not serve as a preceptor, mentor, and/or supervising physician for a nurse practitioner or physician assistant in any case in which the physician assistant or nurse practitioner administers, dispenses, prescribes or authorizes prescriptions for any controlled substances.
State of Colorado
Jahani was already under supervision after being indicted for Medicare fraud by the government in a 2004 case in Texas.