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Former Tri County Wellness Group CEO sentenced to 15 years in "barbaric" Medicare fraud scheme

Hennie Stander

Mashiyat Rashid, the man who orchestrated a nightmarish Medicare fraud scheme in Michigan and Ohio, has been sentenced to 15 years in prison. 

The scheme involved coercing patients at Tri County Wellness Group's clinics to submit to medically unnecessary and sometimes horribly painful back injections in order to get prescriptions for opioids. 

Some of the patients were genuinely suffering from pain, and some were addicts. According to testimony at Rashid's trial, some of the patients could be heard screaming during the procedures, which were described by a former Tri County employee as "barbaric," and some suffered injuries, including open holes in their backs.

The clinics sometimes recruited people at homeless shelters to be able to bill for more of the costly procedures, which, over eight years, netted the clinics $300 million in reimbursements from Medicare and other groups.

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 in commercial real estate, residential real estate, and a Detroit Pistons season ticket membership. Twenty-one other people, including 12 doctors, have been convicted in the scheme. 

Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Public. She began her career at Michigan Public as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.
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