21 Charged, Including Hospital and Lab CEOs, in Connection with Multistate Healthcare Kickback Conspiracy
TYLER, Texas – A 65-year-old Dallas County, Texas, physician, has been resentenced to federal prison for health care fraud and identity theft violations in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney John M. Bales.
In July 2014, Tariq Mahmood, of Cedar Hill, Texas, was found guilty by a jury of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, seven counts of health care fraud, and seven counts of aggravated identity theft following a four-day trial before U.S. District Judge Michael Schneider. Mahmood had been indicted by a federal grand jury on April 11, 2013.
According to information presented in court, Mahmood, a general practitioner, owned and operated several hospitals in the state of Texas, including Cozby Germany Hospital in Grand Saline, Renaissance Terrell Hospital in Terrell, Central Texas Hospital in Cameron, Community General Hospital in Dilley, and Lake Whitney Medical Center in Whitney. From January 2010 to April 2013, Mahmood and others carried out a scheme to defraud Medicare and Medicaid through the submission of false and fraudulent claims. Mahmood and others added, changed, and incorrectly sequenced diagnostic codes in a way that did not reflect the actual diagnoses and conditions of the patients and often did so without reviewing the medical records. They submitted false and fraudulent claims to Medicare and Medicaid based on the added, changed, and incorrectly sequenced diagnostic codes. Mahmood and others also unlawfully used Medicare beneficiaries’ names and Medicare numbers in order to commit health care fraud.
Following his appeal, Mahmood was resentenced to 135 months in federal prison and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $145,358.23 to Medicare, Medicaid, and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas.
The case was investigated by the Texas Office of the Attorney General – Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (OAG-MFCU), the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – Office of the Inspector General (HHS-OIG), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS). This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Nathaniel C. Kummerfeld and Frank Coan and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Ken McGurk.
Any individuals with knowledge of these or other health care fraud violations are encouraged to contact the Department of Health and Human Services’ fraud hotline at 1-800-HHS-TIPS (447-8477)