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Saddle River doctor admits diverting millions in cash to avoid taxes

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot File Photo

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: A Saddle River doctor who owned three immediate care facilities in Hudson County admitted in federal court today that he diverted more than $5.8 million in insurance payments to pay his mortgage, his sons’ college tuition and other personal expenses.

Medhat El Amir pleaded guilty to tax evasion and “corruptly endeavoring to impede the due administration” of the Internal Revenue Code.

El Amir admitted conducting a bogus $2.5 million sale of his Mill Road home to his sister as part of the scheme to keep the property out of reach of the IRS.

Meanwhile, he “made all of the monthly mortgage payments on the Saddle River [p]roperty by cashier’s check or personal check on behalf of [his sister]” and used money deposited into the accounts to pay for utilities, lanscaping and maintenance, according to the indictment to which he pleaded guilty today.

El Amir, who owned two immediate medical care offices in Jersey City and one in North Bergen, also admitted cashing $7,261,083 in Immediate Care insurance company checks at a check cashing facility, depositing the majority of that income into checking accounts in the names of his wife, his sons and his company, Immediate Care, P.C.

He used some of the money to pay for “college tuition payments for his children, life insurance premiums, and other personal expenses,” the indictment says.

El Amir admitted that he failed to report taxable income of $2,087,048 for the years 2007-2010, resulting in a $502,160 tax loss to the United States.

He didn’t employ a bookkeeper but, instead, “managed all aspects of the business, includign paying expenses and overseeing employees and contractors,” the federal indictment says.

For 2008, El Amir reported $148,387 in taxable income, $60,697 in itemized deductions and $24,584 in net income from his businesses, it says. Asked by the IRS for supporting documentation, the indictment alleges, he sent a form under-reporting the income that he and his wife received from Immediate Care.

In 2007, he cashed $1,631,730 at the business, then deposited $1,000,551 into one account, $46,500 into another and $35,242 into another, the indictment says.

He used the money to pay a $139,532 monthly mortgage, college tuition for his son of $68,298, and life insurance premiums of approximately $78,660, the government alleges. He also gave his two sons money for personal expenses, the indictment says.

In 2008, it says, he cashed $1,929,318 in insurance company checks before depositing $1,613,825 in cash in the various bank accounts. He again used the money for the mortgage, tuition and insurance, the government alleges. An additional $122,041 in checks were also converted to cash and used for sons’ benefit, the indictment says.

El Amir in 2009 cashed another $1,953,439 in insurance checks, then deposited $1,676,650 into the accounts for the same personal expenses, the indictment alleges. Again, he also cashed $94,020 before giving a little less than half to his sons, it says.

In 2010, the primary cashed amount was $1,746,596, of which the government said $1,545,271 was deposited and put toward the mortgage, tuition and insurance. An additional $78,692 was cashed, of which $57,010 went into a bank account for one son and $55,650 for another.

U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman and Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Ciraolo credited special agents of the IRS-Criminal Investigation, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.

Scheduling was scheduled for June 10.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Deborah J. Gannett of Fishman’s Health Care and Government Fraud Unit in Newark and Trial Attorney Shawn T. Noud of the Justice Department’s Tax Division.

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