York man guilty, defrauded feds of about $30K in Medicaid benefits

Liz Evans Scolforo
York Dispatch

A York-area man scammed the U.S. government by fraudulently accepting nearly $30,000 in Medicaid and food stamps despite owning a gas station and having some $86,000 tucked away in eight bank accounts, according to federal officials.

Nagy Mohamed Abdelhamed, 68, no street address provided, pleaded guilty Tuesday, Feb. 5, to felony health-care fraud in Harrisburg's federal court, according to court records.

No sentencing date has been set, but a pre-sentence conference has been scheduled for May 29, online court records state.

His defense attorney, Craig Kauzlarich, said he was unable to comment until after sentencing.

In August 2014 Abdelhamed applied for Medicaid as well as food stamps, which are now called Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.

He didn't disclose in the application the fact that he owned a four-bedroom home, a York-area gas station and a 2008 Mercedes Benz E350, his federal indictment states.

On disability too: He also was already receiving $1,124 a month in Social Security disability benefits and, at the time, had about $56,000 in eight separate bank accounts, according to the indictment.

In his Medicaid/SNAP application, he lied and said he had no monthly income and owned no property besides his home, the indictment states. He also failed to disclose the money in his bank accounts or his Mercedes, officials said.

He was approved and received both Medicaid and SNAP benefits, officials said.

Less than two weeks after filing for Medicaid and food stamps, Abdelhamed sold his gas station for $172,883, depositing $87,000 of it in a bank account, according to the indictment, which states he never notified the York County Assistance Office of that sale.

Between May and July 2015, Abdelhamed received three wire transfers totaling about $17,500 and failed to report that income, according to the feds.

By August 2015, he had nearly $86,000 in savings in eight bank accounts, but falsely claimed he had no financial resources other than a car worth less than $4,000 and about $1,600 in a checking account, the indictment states.

Collected rent: By January 2017, Abdelhamed was receiving monthly rent of about $1,100 from two college students renting rooms in his home, but did not report that income either, officials said.

His indictment states he falsified, concealed and covered up his income and savings "by any trick, scheme or device" to defraud the federal government.

When pleading guilty Tuesday, Abdelhamed agreed to repay the federal government $29,337 as full restitution, according to a news release from Dawn Mayko, spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Harrisburg.

Abdelhamed could be sentenced to up to a decade in federal prison, according to Mayko.

— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.