NC clinic owner pleads guilty to $4.7 million health care fraud scheme


Date: June 14, 2023


Charlotte, NC — Aljihad Shabazz of Kernersville, N.C., appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Susan C. Rodriquez today and pleaded guilty to health care fraud conspiracy and money laundering conspiracy for his role in a scheme that defrauded the North Carolina Medicaid Program (Medicaid) of more than $4.7 million, announced Dena J. King, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.

Donald "Trey" Eakins, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division, Charlotte Field Office (IRS-CI), Robert M. DeWitt, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Charlotte Division, and North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein, who oversees the North Carolina Medicaid Division (MID), join U.S. Attorney King in making today's announcement.

According to court records, filed plea documents, and today's hearing, Shabazz was the owner and operator of Reign & Inspirations, LLC (R&I), a clinic that provided outpatient behavioral services in Greensboro and surrounding areas. Between 2017 and 2020, Shabazz conspired with other individuals to carry out an extensive health care fraud scheme involving the fraudulent submissions of fake reimbursement claims to Medicaid, for services that were never provided to Medicaid beneficiaries. As Shabazz admitted in court today, he obtained the personal identifying information (PII) of Medicaid beneficiaries through community outreach programs, including football and mentoring programs, and misused the beneficiaries' PII to create and submit hundreds of fraudulent reimbursement claims and to receive payment for services that were never in fact provided by R&I. Over the course of the scheme, Shabazz used the beneficiaries' PII to submit more than 1,500 fraudulent reimbursement claims to Medicaid, some of which claimed that R&I provided services that exceeded 24 hours in a single day.

Court records show that the reimbursement payments made by Medicaid were deposited in bank accounts under Shabazz's control. Shabazz used a portion of the fraudulent proceeds to pay kickbacks to his co-conspirators and to cover personal expenses, including to pay for personal travel, luxury items, and timeshares, and to make cash withdrawals.

Shabazz was released on bond following his plea hearing. The health care fraud conspiracy charge carries a statutory maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, and the money laundering conspiracy charge up to 20 years in prison. A sentencing date for Shabazz has not been set.

In making today's announcement, U.S. Attorney King credited the IRS-CI, FBI in Charlotte, and NCDOJ's Medicaid Investigations Division for the investigation that led to today's guilty plea

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Cassye Cole and Mike Savage and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Jermaine Sellers with the U.S. Attorney's Office in Charlotte are prosecuting the case.