Repeat health care fraudster owned medical labs sentenced to 10 years for $234 M Medicare scheme

Imran Shams, who was convicted in 1990 and 2001 cases in New York and California involving Medicare fraud involving laboratories her owned, was sentenced today to 10 years in prison for conspiring to conceal his involvement in operating a laboratory and billing Medicare approximately $234 million for various lab tests, including COVID-19 and respiratory pathogen panel tests, despite his decades-long exclusion from the Medicare program. After each conviction, in 1990 and 2001, he was excluded from participation in Medicare and all federal health care programs, and advised by the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG) that he had to submit a written application to be considered for reinstatement in federal health care programs. Shams never asked for reinstatement but, continued to operate health care clinics in New York that billed federal health care programs. In November 2017, Shams pleaded guilty to conspiracy to pay and receive health care kickbacks and other charges in the Eastern District of New York related to his operation of these clinics.

By 2018, Shams was an owner, operator, and manager of Matias Clinical Laboratory, doing business as Health Care Providers Laboratory (HCPL), a Baldwin Park, California-based clinical testing laboratory that billed Medicare and other federal health care programs. In order to maintain HCPL’s status as a Medicare provider and enable it to receive payments from Medicare for its testing services, Shams and a co-conspirator fraudulently concealed Shams’ role in HCPL from Medicare, including failing to submit required enrollment documentation identifying Shams’ ownership, management position, and prior convictions; causing the submission of false documentation to Medicare identifying another person as HCPL’s sole owner and managing officer; submitting false documentation concerning HCPL’s ownership and management to the California Department of Public Health; and making false statements to the U.S. Probation Office and Pretrial Services Agency while Shams was on federal court supervision following his 2017 conviction. Between August 2018 and April 2022, when the grand jury returned the indictment in this case and Shams was arrested and ordered detained without bond, HCPL fraudulently billed Medicare approximately $234 million. Medicare paid HCPL approximately $31.7 million based on these fraudulent claims.

Shams pleaded guilty in the Central District of California on Jan. 24, 2023, to conspiracy to commit health care fraud and concealment of his exclusion from Medicare.

In addition to the term of imprisonment, Shams was ordered to forfeit $31,761,286.21, including $4,513,106.30 in funds that the government previously seized from two bank accounts, as well as his interest in two residential properties and one business property in the Los Angeles area. Shams was also ordered to pay $31,761,286.21 in restitution.

Jeffrey Newman is a whistleblower lawyer and his firm represents whistleblowers in healthcare fraud under the False Claims Act (FCA) also whistleblowers under the SEC whistleblower program and CFTC whistleblower program. He can be reached at or at 617-823-3217