Bangladeshi Immigrant Stole $132 Million From Medicare
BLOOMFIELD, MI – On Wednesday, Mashiyat Rashid, 40, was sentenced in a federal courtroom to 15 years in prison, after he pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and wire fraud, and one count of money laundering.
Rashid is the CEO of Tri-County Wellness Group, which owns a number of pain clinics throughout Michigan and Ohio. He approved a policy to administer unnecessary back injections to patients in exchange for prescriptions of over 6.6 million doses of medically unnecessary opioids, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Many of the group's patients were actually drug addicts and drug dealers. They were given prescriptions for Oxycodone (30 mg), in exchange for submitting to very costly back injections.
During Rashid's eight years as CEO, the Tri-County Wellness Group was paid more for joint injections than any other medical clinic in the country. Among many other luxuries, he spent some of the stolen taxpayer money on a $7 million mansion, court-side season tickets at Detroit Pistons games and travel on private jets.
In a press release, the Department of Justice stated:
The Tri-County clinics intentionally targeted the Medicare program and recruited patients from homeless shelters and soup kitchens. Evidence at trial indicated that Rashid only hired physicians who were willing to disregard patient care in the pursuit of money. Rashid incentivized the physicians to follow the Tri-County protocol of offering opioid prescriptions and administering unnecessary injections by offering to split the Medicare reimbursements for these lucrative procedures. The specific injections used had nothing to do with the medical needs of the patients but were instead selected to be administered because they were the highest-paying injection procedures. A former Tri-County employee testified at the trial of Rashid’s co-defendants that the practices at the clinic were “barbaric.”
In addition to his prison sentence, the Bangladeshi immigrant was ordered to pay $51 million in restitution to Medicare, and forfeit all of his assets (including the season tickets).