By Samuel Van Blaricom
SACRAMENTO, CA – Deputy Attorney General Bianca Yip accused Dr. Firdos Sheikh of fraud and theft last Friday here in Sacramento County Superior Court, claiming the doctor overcharged Medicare by more than $4 million, receiving $424,330.86 for procedures that she allegedly never performed between January 2013 and January 2019.
The case has been continued to Oct. 15 when Defense Attorney Yasin Almadani will present the final set of evidence in defense of Sheikh. Judge Geoffery Goodman is expected to set a date for trial at that time.
In a case that began in early 2019, Sheikh faces two counts of grand theft, two counts of insurance fraud, and one violation of the welfare and institutions code, all at the felony level. If she is tried and convicted of all counts, she could be facing a maximum sentence of 21 years in addition to restitution fees.
This is not the first time Dr. Sheikh has been indicted. According to an article from the Sacramento Bee, in 2018 she “was indicted on two counts of forced labor, two counts of alien harboring for financial gain, one count of obstructing a forced labor investigation and one count of making false statements to federal agents.”
That case was dismissed in 2020 because of the federal court’s inability to give her a speedy trial due to COVID delays.
Dr. Sheikh is a Neurology Specialist and owns an independent practice with offices in Elk Grove, Lodi, and Folsom. She has practiced for 35 years after graduating from the Kasturba Medical College Manipal in 1986. She founded her practice in 1997 after completing her residency with UC Davis, and has received the Patients’ Choice Award in 2008, 2009, and 2010.
During the preliminary hearing of Friday, the court was presented with the testimonies of two witnesses. One was a professional coder for a medical office, and the other an investigating agent.
The coder provided clarification to the parties involving the meaning of the codes used in the alleged fraud and their applicability. The agent broke down how they determined the total amounts and deciphered documents that had been presented as evidence.
The prosecution claims that a number of procedures, such as SI joint injections and hip orthographies, were claimed in code filings to various insurance providers but were never actually performed.