ALEXANDRIA, VA. - Amir Ryan Lahuti, 45, of Bethesda, Maryland, pled guilty yesterday to conspiracy to commit mail fraud for his role in an insurance fraud scheme.
Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and James W. McJunkin, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI Washington Field Office, made the announcement after the plea was accepted by United States District Judge Anthony Trenga.
Lahuti faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison when he is sentenced on Aug. 5, 2011.
Lahuti is an attorney who is licensed to practice in Maryland and the District of Columbia. Lahuti owns and operates the Law Offices of Ryan Lahuti, P.C., and has offices in Silver Spring and Langley Park, Maryland. According to court documents, Lahuti had an ongoing business relationship with chiropractor Jason Carle, wherein the two would refer clients to one another. In May 2009, Lahuti was involved in an accident during which he was reportedly hit by a vehicle while riding his bicycle. Lahuti subsequently contacted Carle and asked Carle to create a patient file for him to document purported treatment related to the bike accident that Lahuti could use to submit a fraudulent insurance claim.
Carle never examined Lahuti or treated him for any injuries sustained in the accident, but fabricated patient files to document over $7,000 in treatment that he purportedly provided to Lahuti on 32 different occasions between May and August 2009. Carle also created documentation that falsely stated that Lahuti was totally incapacitated and out of work for two weeks after the date of the accident.
Lahuti used the false documents created by Carle to file a fraudulent bodily injury insurance claim with GEICO in November 2009. Lahuti used the same documentation to also file a false Personal Injury Protection (PIP) claim with GEICO. Lahuti demanded a $140,000 settlement from GEICO but eventually settled the bodily injury claim for $11,000 and the PIP claim for $6,435. Carle received approximately $3,500 of the settlement money for his role in the scheme.
Jason Carle pled guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud for his role in the scheme on May 18, 2011, and is scheduled to be sentenced before the Honorable Liam O’Grady on July 29, 2011.
This case was investigated by the FBI Washington Field Office, with assistance from the National Insurance Crime Bureau. Assistant United States Attorney Marla Tusk and Special Assistant United States Attorney Alexander Berlin are prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.