WASHINGTON — Mashiyat Rashid, 40, of West Bloomfield, Michigan, the fromer CEO of the Tri-County Wellness Group of medical providers in Michigan and Ohio was sentenced to 15 years in prison.
Accompanying the prison sentence is an order to pay over $51 million in restitution to Medicare in addition to forfeiting traceable proceeds of the health care fraud scheme to the United States (over $11.5 million, commercial real estate, residential real estate, and a Detroit Pistons season ticket membership.
Rashid pleaded guilty in 2018 to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and wire fraud, and one count of money laundering. Twenty-one other defendants, including 12 physicians, have also been, including four physicians who were convicted after a one-month trial in 2020.
Court documents from 2008 to 2016 provide evidence that Rashid was the CEO of Tri-County Wellness wherein the clinics had a policy to offer patients, some were suffering from pain and others were drug dealers or opioid addicts, prescriptions of Oxycodone 30 mg, but forced them to submit to unnecessary back injections in exchange for the prescriptions.
Trial testimonies revealed that this practice was repetitive, sometimes causing patients more pain. Furthermore, it was revealed that Rashid only hired physicians who were willing to disregard patient care in the pursuit of money.
According to the Department of Justice, 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.
Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicholas L. McQuaid of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; Acting U.S. Attorney Saima Shafiq Mohsin of the Eastern District of Michigan; Special Agent in Charge Lamont Pugh III of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General’s (HHS-OIG’s) Chicago Region; Special Agent in Charge Timothy Waters of the FBI’s Detroit Field Office; and Special Agent in Charge Manny Muriel of IRS Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) Detroit made the announcement.