By Thaddeus M. Baklinski
LEXINGTON, November 22, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Kentucky Attorney General Greg Stumbo has announced the indictment and arrest of Dr. Hamid Hussain Sheikh, a Lexington physician. According to the indictment, Sheikh, age 62, committed fraud by performing abortions and disguising patient visits as fetal ultrasounds for normal pregnancies, which he billed to Medicaid, the government health insurance program for the poor and disabled. The indictment also charged that Sheikh double-billed for the procedures, illegally accepting payments directly from his patients.
According to the indictment, Sheikh has engaged in the scheme continuously since 2004. (Click here for a copy of the indictment:
The investigation into Sheikh’s activities began when staff of Kentuky’s Fraud Investigation Support Team (FIST), who are trained in claims data analysis and computer forensics, recognized prescriptions issued by Sheikh that made up a “three drug cocktail” that would typically be prescribed after an abortion. This led the team to uncover the fraudulent claims.
In Kentucky it is illegal to bill Medicaid for any procedure related to abortion except in limited circumstances, such as if the woman’s life is in danger or if the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest.
Attorney General Stumbo said additional charges are possible in view of the deplorable sanitary conditions found in Sheikh’s office.
If convicted, Dr. Sheikh faces up to 20 years in prison under the four count felony indictment.
Sheikh said his arrest was politically motivated and that anti-abortion protesters have picketed outside his clinic and harassed him for years. He maintains he has done nothing wrong, but has recently stopped billing Medicaid for the “ultrasounds” so the Kentucky Bureau of Investigation “would stop picking on me.”
Pro-life activists applauded Sheikh’s arrest and the closing of his clinic. Kentucky Right to Life president Frank Schwendeman said, “Many of our supporters have spent countless hours praying in front of Sheikh’s clinic to end the abortions there. Perhaps our prayers have been answered and Sheikh will no longer be in the business of killing unborn babies.”
Local Catholic pro-lifers are attributing the victory to Our Lady of Guadalupe, whose Missionary Image was used in a Peaceful Prayer Presence in front of Sheikh’s clinic. A press release from the group promoting the Missionary Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe said, “This is the third abortion clinic in Lexington that has closed after Peaceful Prayer Presences with the Missionary Image.”