A West Bloomfield health care CEO pleaded guilty Monday to an indictment as part of an investigation into a $300 million health care fraud scheme, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
The CEO of the Tri-County Wellness Group, 38-year-old Mashiyat Rashid, pleaded guilty to counts including conspiracy to commit health care fraud and wire fraud and money laundering.
Officials say the scheme involved the distribution of more than 6.6 million controlled substance dosage units and the "administration of medically unnecessary injections that resulted in patient harm."
Rashid allegedly paid physicians based on the number of injections Medicare paid for, regardless of whether the patient needed the shot.
As a result, some physicians administered the unnecessary shots to acquire more money for Rashid, themselves and co-conspirators.
Rashid admitted to the court "that the beneficiaries included vulnerable patients, including those addicted to opioids, who were willing to submit to unnecessary and painful injections in order to obtain pills."
The Justice Department released this statement regarding the case:
“The Department of Justice has made ending the opioid crisis a top priority and taken historic new steps to stop the spread of addiction,” said Attorney General Sessions. “That includes prosecuting important cases like this one. The defendant and physicians working for him allegedly flooded the streets with some 4.2 million unnecessary doses of drugs like oxycodone and required patients to undergo expensive and unnecessary back injections in exchange for pills. And while people were suffering, this corporate executive lived in luxury funded by ill-gotten gains. Today’s guilty plea helps us bring the defendant to justice and reduce the supply of illegal drugs flowing into our communities. And so I want to thank our FBI agents, our partners with HHS and IRS Criminal Investigation and everyone else who helped investigate and prosecute this case. Opioid prescription abuse is clearly a cause of some of the addiction we are seeing today. Successful conclusions of important cases like this one will have a great impact. We are not through yet. There will be more cases like this. Ending opioid prescription abuse is achievable and we intend to end it.”
Rashid has agreed to a forfeiture of $51,396,917.70, property traced to the money obtain via the scheme, commercial and residential real estate and a Detroit Pistons season ticket membership, officials say.