Medicare Fraud – Doctor Pleads Guilty to Role in Multi-million dollar Detroit Area Scheme
In spite of the government’s ongoing efforts at cracking down on Medicare fraud and Medicaid abuse, some individuals continue to consider profit over patient health. This is the case as the Justice Department announced earlier this month that a Detroit area physician – Abdul Haq, 72, of Ypsilanti, Michigan – pleaded guilty for his role in a conspiracy to defraud Medicare of approximately $19 million. Sentencing has been scheduled for May 29, 2018 before U.S. District Judge Denise Page Hood of the Eastern District of Michigan. Haq – as part of his guilty plea – admitted that he conspired with the owner of the Tri-County Network to prescribe medically unnecessary controlled substances to Medicare beneficiaries. Many of these beneficiaries were addicted to narcotics. Haq also admitted that he along with Tri-County Network owner, Mashiyat Rashid, required Medicare beneficiaries to undergo unnecessary joint injections if the beneficiary wished to obtain prescriptions for controlled substances.
The Department of Justice further accuses Haq of:
- Unnecessarily referring his patients to specific third party home health agencies, laboratories and diagnostic providers.
- Serving as a straw owner of various pain clinics controlled by Rashid
- Submitting false and fraudulent enrollment materials to Medicare
- Failing to disclose Rashid’s ownership interest in various medical clinics
The actions that Haq has admitted to have been estimated to have caused Medicare approximately $19,322,846.60 in false and fraudulent claims. This case was investigated by the FBI, HHS-OIG and IRS-CI. Trial Attorney Jacob Foster of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section is prosecuting the case. The Fraud Section is part of the Medicare Fraud Strike force. Since it began back in March 2007, the Strike force has charged over 3,500 defendants who collectively have falsely billed the Medicare program for over $12.5 billion.