Former doctor sentenced to pay back over $500K

Former New Albany doctor, Khaled Amr, admitted to staging a break-in at his Columbus practice for a fraudulent insurance claim and running a pill mill. Amr was sentenced to spend five years on probation and ordered to forfeit more than a half-million dollars.

Amr was arrested in 2019 at his home, where he was found hiding in a closet. According to court records, Amr was operating a pill mill out of his practice, Columbus Pain Specialists, for more than seven years. Amr was selling Oxycodone in exchange for financial kickbacks and staged a break-in at his practice to make a fraudulent insurance claim, resulting in more than $1 million being paid to him.

He will be ordered to surrender his medical license and DEA license as part of the terms of his probation. He also was ordered to pay a $5,000 fine and forfeit more than $524,000 that were proceeds of his criminal behavior.

In other news

On August 9, 2021, Lisa Buckner pled guilty to one count of workers’ compensation fraud, a misdemeanor of the first degree. Buckner returned to work at Fayette County Community Action, however, she had not reported this employment to the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) and continued to receive disability benefits.

The investigation confirmed that Buckner knowingly and with fraudulent intent was working while simultaneously collecting BWC disability benefits to which she was not entitled. Restitution of $5,119.82 had previously been paid in full through a lump sum settlement.  A Fayette County judge accepted Buckner’s guilty plea, ordered one day in jail, gave her one day jail time credit, and closed the case for time served.

Robert Swartz, dba Bamboo Relaxing Massage

The Special Investigations Department received an allegation from the Ohio Investigative Unit regarding Robert Swartz, owner of Bamboo Relaxing Massage. Swartz came under scrutiny by a task force investigating illegal activities at massage parlors. BWC investigators joined the Ohio Investigative Unit and other federal, state and local agencies in a joint investigation. It was discovered Swartz was operating his business without BWC coverage.

On July 15, 2021, Robert Swartz pleaded guilty in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court to one count of workers’ compensation fraud, a fifth-degree felony. On the workers’ comp fraud charge, Swartz was sentenced to five years of community control and restitution ordered in the amount of $1,156.56 to BWC.

As part of the task force investigation, Swartz also pleaded guilty to engaging in pattern of corrupt activity, promoting prostitution, grand theft, and practicing medicine without a license.

Cynthia Whitner

The Special Investigations Department opened an investigation after it’s Intelligence Unit identified Cynthia Whitner had potentially earned wages during periods she received BWC disability benefits. The investigation found Whitner knowingly and with fraudulent intent was hired and worked for I-Force while simultaneously collecting BWC disability benefits to which she was not entitled.

On July 14, 2021, Whitner pleaded guilty to one count of workers’ compensation fraud, a first-degree misdemeanor. Whitner was found guilty and, at the defendant’s request, deferred sentencing until September 23.

To report suspected workers’ compensation fraud, call 1-800-644-6292 or visit bwc.ohio.gov.

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