DETROIT – The U.S. Justice Department is calling an opioid prescription drug and health care fraud scheme the largest operation of its kind in United States history, and part of it is centered in Metro Detroit.
Officials have made 412 arrests nationwide, including 56 doctors and targeting 200 clinics. The Justice Department said those arrested are responsible for $1.3 billion in fraudulent transactions.
Federal officials said a group of Michigan doctors was responsible for a major chunk of the scheme.
One of the clinics hit in the sting operations is in Farmington. Federal officials said the opioid epidemic is part of it, but the medical office and a number of others were set up specifically as a criminal enterprise to rip off Medicare.
Federal officers raided the Fisher Building Wednesday, and U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said their work accounted for 10 percent of the scam’s value.
“Six doctors in Michigan prescribed patients with unnecessary opioids, some of which ended up for sale on the streets,” Sessions said.
A physician group called Global Quality used to operate out of a Woodward Avenue office building.
Mashiyat Rashid is accused of being the ring leader in scamming Medicare for $164 million. Rashid had no problem displaying his significant wealth on Facebook, where pictures show him standing in front of a Bentley sedan and a corporate jet. He also has pictures of himself and a friend courtside at the NBA Finals.
Rashid is not a doctor, but the doctors named in the case are Joseph Betro, Spilios Pappas, Abdul Haq, Tariz Omar and Mohammad Zahoor.
Federal officials indicted suspects a week ago and they’ve already been arraigned.
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.
The six Michigan defendants are:
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.
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.Najah Roumayah, 71, of West Bloomfield, and David Dickey, 67, of Camden, were both charged with Medicaid fraud-false claim. More News Headlines Federal agents raid offices at the Fisher Building on Wednesday, July 12, 2017, in Downtown Detroit.
Marie Denard, 31, of Macomb, was charged with 25 counts of Medicaid fraud-false claim and one count of false pretenses.
Roumayah allegedly billed Medicaid for dental services not performed between 2012 and 2016. Roumayah’s dental practice is located in Berkley, Michigan.