Corporate Compliance

Sentence for 20,000 fraudulent office visits is 43 months, $1.8 million in restitution

Compliance Monitor, November 23, 2011

A U.S. magistrate in Newark has sentenced Yousuf Masood of Warren, NJ, to 43 months in prison for operating a healthcare scheme in which he exposed patients to unqualified medical professionals, according to a November 16 Department of Justice (DOJ) press release. Masood was also ordered to pay more than $1.8 million in restitution for fraudulent Medicare and Medicaid billings. Additionally, Maruk Masood, Yousuf Masood’s wife and office manager, and Hamid Bhatti, and Carlos Quijada, two of the individuals who posed as licensed physicians, were each sentenced to five year’s probation for their involvement in the scheme.

According to court documents, Yousuf Masood used unqualified individuals to diagnose and treat patients in his medical office and billed Medicare and Medicaid as if he had provided the services. Masood instructed the fake physicians to spend no more than five to 10 minutes with patients and used pre-signed prescription pads to prescribe medicine and order tests. In exchange, Masood paid these individuals as little as $10 per hour. On some days, more than 100 patients were seen at the medical practice and a wide range of medications were prescribed using pre-signed prescription pads to treat a variety of ailments including anxiety, insomnia, and schizophrenia.

According to the press release, Masood was the top prescriber of drugs to Medicaid patients in New Jersey in 2009. He prescribed more than $9 million in Medicaid drugs which was $3 million more than next highest prescribing doctor in New Jersey that year.

Read more on the Department of Justice website.

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