Robert Snell, Detroit News, July 16, 2017
A health care executive cheated Medicare out of $132 million and blew the money on a $7 million Franklin mansion and courtside NBA tickets, and stuffed secret storage units with cash, prosecutors allege.
Federal court records and prosecutors provided new details about the inner workings and riches of a health-care fraud conspiracy that ranks among the largest in Detroit history, orchestrated by 37-year-old businessman Mashiyat Rashid.
Prosecutors say the conspiracy involved recruiting homeless people as patients, sending phony bills to Medicare, subjecting drug addicts to unnecessary back injections and prescribing powerful pain medication that ended up being sold on the street.
The conspiracy generated so much money that Rashid withdrew $500,000 from a bank this month and stuffed the cash in a duffel bag, the government said. A surveillance team of federal agents watched him enter and leave the bank.
Rashid, who lives in West Bloomfield Township, faces up to life in federal prison if convicted of crimes including health-care fraud conspiracy, money laundering and receiving kickbacks.
Rashid is not a flight risk or a criminal, defense lawyer Mohammed Nasser said. He is a venture capitalist and business owner who paid $2.4 million in taxes last year. Rashid moved to the U.S. from Bangladesh when he was 3 years old, graduated from the University of Michigan, is married and has two young children.
Rashid is a flight risk, U.S. Magistrate Judge Elizabeth Stafford said, noting his international travel, ties to Bangladesh and assets. She ordered Rashid held without bond pending an Aug. 22 trial.
The conspiracy dates to 2008, and involved six others and a web of companies controlled by Rashid, prosecutors allege.
Prosecutors say the scheme was wildly profitable. In all, Rashid transferred $10 million into his personal bank accounts, the government alleged.
“What did (Rashid) do with the proceeds of the scheme? He used the proceeds of the scheme to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to sit courtside at NBA basketball games, to make $6.6 million in investments and to finance the construction of a $6.8 million house,” Foster said.
The 10-count indictment, unsealed Wednesday, appears to have disrupted construction on Rashid’s 10,300-square-foot estate near 13 Mile and Crestwood in leafy Franklin.
On Friday, there were no workers at the towering, unfinished mansion. Architectural plans show the home will include an indoor subterranean basketball court.
It is unclear whether Rashid will ever move into the home.
On Thursday, federal prosecutors filed paperwork in Oakland County that could end with the home being forfeited to the government.
Federal agents had Rashid under surveillance earlier this month and watched him travel to a Bank of America branch.
Agents spotted him leaving with a duffel bag. A bank employee told investigators Rashid withdrew $500,000 in $100 bills.
“This is merely indicative of the financial assets and the flight risk (Rashid) poses,” Foster said.