SULLIVAN, Ind. (WKBN/WTWO/WAWV) – A Sullivan County doctor who asked a federal court to not give him jail time in a billing conspiracy out of Ohio was sentenced to prison this week.
Dr. Samir Wahib was sentenced to four months in prison and three years probation. He will also have to pay a $55,000 fine and restitution of $211,092 along with his co-conspirators, Joni Canby and Michelle Kapon.
Wahib had asked Judge J. Philip Calabrese to give him no jail time so he could continue to serve the “underserved” population at Sullivan County Community Hospital where he is currently practicing, according to his sentencing memorandum.
Wahib has worked several jobs since he had to close his practice in Youngstown, Ohio, following the litigation against him and suspension from Ohio Medicaid, and he has been separated from his family while doing so, the filing stated. He hasn’t practiced medicine in Ohio since 2017.
Wahib pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to solicit, receive offers and pay kickbacks in connection with a federal health care program. He also pleaded guilty to four counts of receipt of kickbacks in connection with a federal health care program.
Investigators say Wahib conspired with Canby and Kapon to take money in exchange for arranging for sexually transmitted disease testing through federal healthcare programs.
The indictment in the 2021 case said that Kapon and Canby sent their specimens to Wahib to be tested and received payments of $15 to $20 per specimen from Wahib. Wahib allegedly then billed and was paid by the federal government for the testing.
The scheme lasted from March 2014 to January 2017, according to court records.
The doctors practiced in Youngstown and surrounding areas.
Canby and Kapon both pleaded guilty to their involvement in the case. Kapon was sentenced to two years probation, fined $8,000, and must pay $75,460 in restitution with her co-conspirators. Canby was sentenced to one year of probation and restitution in the amount of $135,632.
When reached for comment, Sullivan County Community Hospital CEO Michelle Franklin gave the following statement:
“The sentencing hearing was held on 9/12/23 for Dr. Wahib’s guilty plea to charges which were financial in nature and not related to his practice at Sullivan County Community Hospital. The sentence was harsh and included 4 months of incarceration. Although not the outcome we were hoping for, SCCH remains committed to patient care. We will continue to see OB/GYN patients and provide the same level of excellent patient care that our patients expect.“
WKBN’s Patty Coller contributed to this report.