Sentencing Puts the Hurt on Pain Clinic Fraudster

Man giving bribe to a doctor

Mashiyat Rashid, a Michigan healthcare CEO, was sentenced to 15 years in prison for his role in a massive, cruel healthcare fraud and opioid distribution scheme. Pain clinics and other medical providers under his direction forced patients to undergo extremely lucrative back injections in return for Oxycodone prescriptions. (This happened whether or not they had any medical need for the opioids prescribed).

Rashid’s Tri-County Wellness Group, which practiced in Michigan and Ohio, prescribed more than 6.6 million doses of medically unnecessary opioids. Rashid pleaded guilty in 2018 to one count of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud and wire fraud, and one count of money laundering. (Now, there’s an understatement.)

Twenty-two other participants, including 12 physicians, have been convicted to date in the scheme, which targeted Medicare recipients recruited from homeless shelters and kitchens. (Human vultures of a feather flock together.) Rashid drew corrupt physicians to participate by offering them a share of the fraudulent Medicare reimbursements for the procedures.

Rashid used the scheme’s proceeds for private jet flights, courtside seats to the NBA finals, luxury cars, jewelry, and real estate. But he can say goodbye to his lavish lifestyle. In addition to prison time, Rashid will pay more than $51 million in restitution to Medicare, and forfeit $11.5 million, plus real estate, and Detroit Pistons seasons tickets (Poor baby!) that were all traceable to the healthcare fraud scheme.

It wasn’t enough that Rashid and his cronies enabled and contributed to opioid addiction in countless patients. They also tortured them with the medically unnecessary and extremely painful injections. A former employee described the treatment as “barbaric,” with patients screaming in agony and sometimes experiencing complications such as open holes in their backs. (A lengthy prison sentence couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.)

Today’s Fraud of the Day comes from a Department of Justice press release, “CEO Sentenced to Prison in $150 Million Health Care Fraud, Opioid Distribution, and Money Laundering Scheme,” dated March 3, 2021.

The chief executive officer of a Michigan and Ohio-based group of pain clinics and other medical providers was sentenced today to 15 years in prison for developing and approving a corporate policy to administer unnecessary back injections to patients in exchange for prescriptions of over 6.6 million doses of medically unnecessary opioids.

Mashiyat Rashid, 40, of West Bloomfield, Michigan, was the CEO of the Tri-County Wellness Group of medical providers in Michigan and Ohio. In addition to the prison sentence, Rashid was also ordered to pay over $51 million in restitution to Medicare, as well as forfeiture to the United States of property traceable to proceeds of the health care fraud scheme, including over $11.5 million, commercial real estate, residential real estate, and a Detroit Pistons season ticket membership.



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Larry Benson, Senior Director of Strategic Alliances, LexisNexis Risk Solutions - Government

Larry Benson is responsible for developing strategic partnerships and solutions for the government vertical. His expertise focuses on how government programs are defrauded by criminal groups, and the approaches necessary to prevent them from succeeding.

Mr. Benson has 30 years of experience in sales and business development. Before joining LexisNexis® Risk Solutions, he spent 12 years founding and managing two software technology startups. During the 1990s he spent 10 years as a Regional Director helping to grow a New England-based technology company from 300 employees to 7,000. He started his career with Martin Marietta Aerospace working on laser guided weapons and day/night vision systems.

A sought-after speaker and accomplished writer, Mr. Benson is the principal author of “Fraud of the Day,” a website dedicated to educating government officials about how criminals are defrauding government programs. He has co-authored WTF? Where’s the Fraud? How to Unmask and Stop Identity Fraud’s Drain on Our Government, and Data Personified, How Fraud is Changing the Meaning of Identity.

Benson holds a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Albright College, and earned two graduate degrees – a Master of Business Administration from Florida Institute of Technology, and a Master of Science in Engineering from Lehigh University.