Couple accused of conspiracy to send money to Iran

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Associated Press

Posted on March 17, 2013 at 12:02 PM

Updated Sunday, Mar 17 at 12:02 PM

HOUSTON (AP) — A federal grand jury has accused a South Texas physician and his lawyer wife of conspiring to commit health care fraud and illegally sending more than a $1 million of proceeds to Iran.

The panel returned a four-count indictment Thursday against Dr. Kossein Lahiji, a McAllen urologist, and wife Najmen Vahid Lahiji. They're accused of violating U.S. sanctions against Iran by investing about $1.1 million in Iranian rental properties.

The indictment alleges funds came from a scheme in which they submitted fraudulent claims to various insurance programs, including Medicare and Medicaid.

If convicted, they'd face up to 10 years in prison on the health care fraud counts and 20 years in prison for conspiracy to violate Iranian sanctions.

Trial is set for Oct. 21. The Lahijis have denied any wrongdoing.

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