Abdul haq

Ypsilanti, Michigan physician Abdul Haq pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud, and will be sentenced next year. (Flickr representational photo)

The U.S. Department of Justice Oct. 3 announced that Dr. Abdul Haq of Ypsilanti, Michigan, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud.

Haq, 72, a physician, admitted his involvement in a roughly $19 million Medicare fraud scheme involving three Detroit-area providers.

As part of his guilty plea, Haq admitted that he conspired with the owner of the Tri-County Network, Mashiyat Rashid, and his co-defendants and others to prescribe medically unnecessary controlled substances, including oxycodone, hydrocodone and opana, to Medicare beneficiaries, many of whom were addicted to narcotics, the Justice Department said.

He further admitted that Rashid and others also directed physicians, including Haq and others, to require Medicare beneficiaries to undergo medically unnecessary facet joint injections if the beneficiary wished to obtain prescriptions for controlled substances, the news release said.

Additionally, Haq and others referred Medicare beneficiaries to specific third party home health agencies, laboratories and diagnostic providers even though those referrals were medically unnecessary, he admitted, according to the Justice Department.

Haq also served as the straw owner of various pain clinics owned and/or controlled by Rashid, and submitted false and fraudulent enrollment materials to Medicare that failed to disclose the ownership interest of Rashid, it said.

Haq was charged along with Rashid, Yasser Mozeb, Spilios Pappas, Joseph Betro, Tariq Omar and Mohammed Zahoor in an indictment unsealed on July 6.

Rashid, Mozeb, Pappas, Betro, Omar and Zahoor are awaiting trial. Haq’s sentencing is scheduled for May 29 next year.

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