The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News

September 10, 2013

AG admits math mistake, Memon charges dropped

MONTGOMERY (AP) — A judge dismissed felony Medicaid theft charges Monday against a north Alabama physician after the state attorney general’s office admitted making a mathematical mistake in the case.

Montgomery County Circuit Judge Gene Reese threw out two theft charges Monday against Dr. Iqbal Memon, 51, of Madison.

Attorney General Luther Strange’s office filed a brief motion last week asking the judge to dismiss the case because of what it called an “inadvertent mathematical error” between the size of the alleged theft and the amount the state’s evidence would show.

The motion did not say how the mistake occurred, but court records show prosecutors sought the dismissal after the defense asked to see evidence against Memon.

Prosecutors initially said in July that Memon was accused of taking more than $7,000. But Joy Patterson, a spokeswoman for Strange, said prosecutors did not have evidence that Memon received an overpayment of more than $2,500, or the minimum amount required for first-degree theft.

“Therefore, we filed a motion on Sept. 4 to dismiss the indictment,” she said in an email exchange.

An attorney representing Memon, Richard Keith, said billing errors occurred in Memon’s medical practice that resulted in him receiving relatively small excessive payments “which he is more than happy to pay back.”

“It involved billing codes,” said Keith. “Apparently even the people in Medicaid have a hard time getting it straight.”

Memon was investigated by the attorney general’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, which received the case from the Alabama Medicaid Agency. He faced a maximum of 20 years in prison and fines of $60,000 on each of the theft counts had he been convicted.

Memon is the father of former middle-school student Hammad Memon, convicted of fatally shooting classmate Todd Brown at Discovery Middle School in 2010.

The doctor still faces charges of trying to help his son escape before his arrest and guilty plea earlier this year.

Memon and his wife Sofia both were charged with hindering prosecution after the woman and the teen were arrested at a bus station in Texas following the shooting. Authorities said they suspected the parents were trying to get their son, who is now 17, to their native country of Pakistan.

Memon is free on bond and continues seeing patients in his medical practice, Keith said.

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