6 Michigan doctors charged in health care fraud conspiracy after Fisher Building raid

By John Steckroth - Editor
Headline Goes Here

Federal agents raid offices at the Fisher Building on Wednesday, July 12, 2017, in Downtown Detroit. (WDIV)

DETROIT - More than 400 people across the country were charged Thursday for taking part in health care fraud and opioid scams including six Michigan doctors in connection with a raid Wednesday at the Fisher Building in Detroit.

UPDATEMetro Detroit doctors charged in historic national health care fraud scheme

The six Michigan defendants are:

  • Mashiyat Rashid, of Oakland County – controlled, owned or operated Global Quality, Aqua Therapy, Tri-County Physicians, Tri-State Physicians, New Center Medical, National Laboratories, and Tri-County Wellness;
  • Yasser Mozeb, of Oakland County – allegedly received payments from Global Quality and Tri-County Wellness;
  • Abdul Haq, of Washtenaw County, physician enrolled as a participating provider with Medicare for Aqua Therapy, Tri-County Physicians and Tri-State Physicians;
  • Joseph Betro, of Oakland County, physician enrolled as a participating provider with Medicare for Tri-County Physicians and New Center Medical;
  • Tariz Omar, of Oakland County, physician enrolled as a participating provider with Medicare for Tri-County Physicians.
  • Mohammed Zahoor, of Oakland County, physician enrolled as a participating provider with Medicare for Tri-County Physicians.

A seventh doctor, Spilios Pappas, of Lucas County, Ohio, was also charged in connection with the investigation.

The defendants are charged with five counts of health care fraud and health care fraud conspiracy. Rashid and Mozeb are charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States and pay and receive health care kickbacks. Rashid is charged with money laundering, receipt of kickbacks in connection with a federal health care program and payment of kickbacks in connection with federal health care program.

Federal authorities raided offices in the Fisher Building where National Laboratories is located in connection with the investigation.

Authorities say Rashid and his co-conspirators engaged in illegal kickbacks and billing for medically unnecessary joint injections, drug screenings and home health services.

Investigators believe Rashid’s companies’ fraudulently billed Medicare $126 million. Approximately $1.3 billion is believed to have been fraudulently billed in scams across the country.

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette charged three people including two dentists with Medicaid fraud in connection to the massive healthcare fraud takedown.

READ: Schuette charges 3 people including 2 Michigan dentists with Medicaid fraud

Attorney General Jeff Sessions called the collective action the "largest health care fraud takedown operation in American history" and said it indicates that some doctors, nurses and pharmacists "have chosen to violate their oaths and put greed ahead of their patients."

Sessions said that nearly 300 health care providers are being suspended or banned from participating in federal health care programs. 

"Most individuals rely on the specialized knowledge of medical professionals to take care of their medical needs, asking for their expert help in good faith and trusting them to both help them and uphold the law," Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette said. "Unfortunately, there are individuals whose greed overshadows patient care, and it is important those individuals are found, stopped, and held accountable for their crime."

The Justice Department said the people charged were illegally billing Medicare, Medicaid, and the health insurance program that serves members of the armed forces, retired service members and their families. The allegations include claims that those charged billed the programs for unnecessary drugs that were never purchased or never given to the patients.

A Florida rehab facility is alleged to have recruited addicts with gift cards and visits to strip clubs, leading to $58 million in false treatments and tests.

Officials said those charged in the schemes include more than 120 people involved in prescribing and distributing narcotics.

"They seem oblivious to the disastrous consequences of their greed. Their actions not only enrich themselves, often at the expense of taxpayers, but also feed addictions and cause addictions to start," Sessions said.

Stay with Local 4 and ClickonDetroit.com as more information becomes available.

Copyright 2017 by WDIV ClickOnDetroit - All rights reserved.