Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
Perinton psychiatrist sentenced to 18 months in prison for health care fraud
By Will Cleveland
December 10, 2020
A Perinton psychiatrist convicted of health care fraud and making false statements about health care matters was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison Wednesday.
Dr. Muhammad Cheema, 47, who operated Upstate Psychiatry at 115 Sully’s Trail, pleaded guilty in June. He was also ordered by U.S. District Judge Charles J. Siragusa to pay $813,495.48 in restitution to the health care benefit programs he defrauded.
Between 2013 and 2017, Cheema submitted 5,000 false claims for therapy services he did not provide.
Cheema worked for Rochester Regional Health from 2004 until he resigned of his own accord in January 2017. He also worked for various nursing homes, which were not identified in the criminal complaint. Cheema was licensed to practice in New York in August 2004, according to the state Department of Health.
As a result of these false claims, Cheema received $218,368 from various health care benefit programs operated by Excellus, MVP and others. He also created false medical records to substantiate the fraudulent charges…