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December 29, 2017

MADIGAN: CHICAGO WOMAN CHARGED FOR DEFRAUDING STATE OUT OF APPROXIMATELY $100,000 IN MEDICAID FUNDING

Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced that a Chicago doctor was charged with Medicaid fraud for defrauding the state out of approximately $100,000 in Medicaid funding.

Dr. Manuela Farhi, 60, of Chicago, was charged Friday with Class 1 vendor fraud, two counts of Class 1 theft and Class 3 forgery in Cook County Circuit Court for her scheme to bill the state for services she did not actually provide. If convicted, Farhi faces up to 15 years in prison.

In the indictment, Madigan alleged Farhi billed Medicaid through her practice as an OB/GYN at 7010 West North Avenue in Chicago serving women enrolled in the state’s Medicaid program. Between 2008 and 2015, she billed the state for approximately $100,000 in services that were not provided to patients, services she claimed to have provided when patients really missed their appointments, and services she claimed to have provided while she was actually out of the country.

“The state’s Medicaid program exists to ensure the most vulnerable people have access to the medical programs and services they need,” Madigan said. “Those who abuse this critical program and defraud the state out of scarce resources will be held accountable.”

The case was investigated by the Illinois State Police Medicaid Fraud Control Bureau.

“It’s always upsetting to discover someone defrauding such a vital system as the Medicaid program, but it’s especially disconcerting when that person is in a profession entrusted to maintain a high ethical standard,” said Captain Brian Ley of the Illinois State Police Medicaid Fraud Control Bureau. “It took the tenacity of both state police investigators and prosecutors from the Illinois Attorney General’s Office to bring this case to indictment. We will continue to pursue crimes perpetrated against the Medicaid program to protect not only those who depend on the services, but also the taxpayers who expect accountability for how their tax dollars are being utilized.”

The public is reminded that the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Assistant Attorney General Rob Sparano handled the case for Madigan’s Medicaid Fraud Bureau.

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