Former healthcare company CEO to face sentencing in $150M fraud scheme

A former healthcare company CEO has pleaded guilty to conspiracy and money- laundering charges for his part in a $150 million fraud scheme that federal prosecutors say involved the unnecessary prescription of millions of opioids and the administration of medically unnecessary, harmful injections, according to the Department of Justice

The Department of Justice said 38-year-old Mashiyat Rashid of West Bloomfield, Mich., who led the Tri-County Wellness Group of medical providers in Michigan and Ohio, pleaded guilty Oct. 15 to charges of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud and wire fraud and money laundering. 

Federal prosecutors said Mr. Rashid and physicians working in his clinics from 2008-2017 prescribed more than 4.2 million dosage units of medically unnecessary controlled substances to Medicare beneficiaries, including drug addicts, as part of a conspiracy to obtain patients. Mr. Rashid is one of five defendants, including four physicians, charged in the healthcare fraud scheme.

In agreeing to the plea, Mr. Rashid said he conspired with physicians to require Medicare beneficiaries seeking controlled substances to submit to expensive, medically unnecessary and painful injections. 

"Rashid paid physicians based on the number of injections that Medicare paid for, regardless of the medical necessity of the injections.  In turn, the physicians conducted these repetitive and unnecessary injections on patients … to increase revenue for Rashid, themselves and their co-conspirators," federal prosecutors said. 

According to the Department of Justice, Medicare determined the injection claims were ineligible for reimbursement and suspended the medical billing privileges of one of the involved pain clinics. Federal prosecutors said Mr. Rashid and others created new shell companies enrolled in Medicare "to keep billing the same fraudulent claims."

Federal prosecutors said Mr. Rashid was also involved in the transfer of $6.6 million in proceeds from the healthcare fraud conspiracy to spend money on luxury clothes, rare Richard Mille watches and exotic automobiles; a mansion and other real estate in the Detroit; and tickets to NBA basketball games.

As part of his plea agreement, Mr. Rashid agreed to forfeit $51 million, as well as property related to proceeds of the healthcare fraud scheme. His sentencing is scheduled for April 11.


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