LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - By Morgan Thomas - email
LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A man indicted on charges of health care fraud said Friday afternoon he was only following instructions his employer gave him and did not realize he was breaking the law.
Haseeb Rehman, 57, was arrested Wednesday along with his employer, Dr. Alexander Orlov, on federal charges.
The indictment stated Orlov instructed Rehman, who is not properly licensed, to treat patients, prescribe medication and perform minor surgeries at Urgent Care clinic in Lufkin.
Rehman said in an interview that he worked as a medical doctor for the government in Pakistan. When he came to the United States, he tried to enter medical school but could not afford it.
Rehman said it was while he lived in Houston that Orlov contacted him and hired him as a medical assistant at the clinic.
Rehman said he did what Orlov told him was OK to do, and assumed his boss knew the rules.
At first, Rehman worked behind a computer, but eventually, he says Orlov expanded his duties to seeing patients.
"I didn't know the rules and regulations," said Rehman said.
Those duties are what the federal charges stem from: one count - conspiracy to commit health care fraud, four counts - wire fraud and five counts of identity theft. Lufkin physician Dr. Lance Sloan helped us dissect the charges.
"To bill a medicare program you have to have a certain licence individual," said Dr. Lance Sloan, M.D.
The indictment claims each time Rehmen treated patients, medicare or medicaid was fraudulently billed under Dr. Orlov's name.
"When you come to see a doctor you expect to see a doctor - they've likely had a certain level of training,"said Dr. Sloan.
Orlov's medical assistant hopes his case will be dismissed because he says he was unknowingly involved.
The reality of this situation has blind sided the Rehman family.
"Very scared. My whole family is scared," said Rehman.
A call to Orlov's cell phone had not been returned.
Rehman lives in his Lufkin home with his wife and 18-year-old son.
"I am innocent," he said, with tears in his eyes.
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