What better way to say, “Thank you America, for allowing me to live in the land of opportunity” than to steal money from hard working American citizens…
A health care executive cheated Medicare out of $132 million and blew the money on a $7 million Franklin mansion and courtside NBA tickets, and stuffed secret storage units with cash, prosecutors allege.
Federal court records and prosecutors provided new details about the inner workings and riches of a health-care fraud conspiracy that ranks among the largest in Detroit history, orchestrated by 37-year-old businessman Mashiyat Rashid.
Prosecutors say the conspiracy involved recruiting homeless people as patients, sending phony bills to Medicare, subjecting drug addicts to unnecessary back injections and prescribing powerful pain medication that ended up being sold on the street.
The conspiracy generated so much money that Rashid withdrew $500,000 from a bank this month and stuffed the cash in a duffel bag, the government said. A surveillance team of federal agents watched him enter and leave the bank.
“This was a crime of deceit. His fraud was brazen,” Justice Department trial attorney Jacob Foster said Wednesday during Rashid’s bond hearing. “This was about the thousands and thousands of beneficiaries who were taken advantage of in order for (Rashid) to line his pockets.”
Rashid, who lives in West Bloomfield Township, faces up to life in federal prison if convicted of crimes including health-care fraud conspiracy, money laundering and receiving kickbacks.
Rashid is not a flight risk or a criminal, defense lawyer Mohammed Nasser said. He is a venture capitalist and business owner who paid $2.4 million in taxes last year. Rashid moved to the U.S. from Bangladesh when he was 3 years old, graduated from the University of Michigan, is married and has two young children.
“He doesn’t have as much as a speeding ticket,” Nasser said. “He has had absolutely no involvement with the criminal justice system. This is his first parlay into the gamut of criminal law. We are confident this will be resolved.”
Rashid is a flight risk, U.S. Magistrate Judge Elizabeth Stafford said, noting his international travel, ties to Bangladesh and assets. She ordered Rashid held without bond pending an Aug. 22 trial.
“This is a uniquely troubling case in a lot of ways,” Stafford said. “The allegation is he basically forced people who may have been addicted to drugs to have unnecessary injections in their back as part of this scheme — things of that nature are very troubling.”
For entire story: Detroit News
The indictment unsealed Wednesday alleges the seven defendants conspired in a scheme involving $131.8 million.
The alleged scheme involved paying kickbacks and bribes for services billed to Medicare.
Only one of the seven people charged is an Ohio resident, the other six are MI residents. It has not yet been reported if the other six men are also immigrants:
■Mashiyat Rashid of Oakland County.
■Yasser Mozeb of Oakland County.
■Spilios Pappas of Ohio.
■Abdul Haq of Washtenaw County.
■Joseph Betro of Oakland County.
■Tariq Omar of Oakland County.
■Mohammed Zahoor of Oakland County.