Riaz Mazeuri aged 65 who resided in Harris Country Texas appeared before a U.S judge in a five-day trial that saw him being convicted of five counts of health care fraud and conspiring to commit health care fraud. The evidence was brought before the court by the U.S Medicare Fraud Strike Task Force. His hearing will be held on October 10, 2017.

How he committed the crimes

According to investigators, Raiz together with others defrauded U.S Medicare program by submitting to Medicare, through his Riverside General Hospital about $158 million in false and fraudulent claims for the partial hospitalization program.

The partial hospitalization program or PHP is an intensive outpatient treatment program for severely mentally ill patients. Court evidence showed that Raiz paid bribes and kickbacks to nursing homes and group home owners so that Medicare patients can be sent to his Riverside hospital. Raiz would then cater for the patients for an unnecessarily prolonged period which made many to end up suffering from dementia and Alzheimer's. Evidence before the court showed that he rarely attended to the patient's medical problems and only participated in the partial hospitalization program to sign PHP documents. He also falsified documents that purported to show patients highly qualified for the program and needed intensive psychiatric services.

Court evidence showed that most patients did not require treatment at his hospital because they were doing fine. Raiz received a total of $158 million for his fraudulent misconducts. The court also found out that 15 other people working with him were guilty of similar offenses. Some include, Ernest Gibson III a former president of Riverside hospital, he was sentenced to 45 years in prison, Ernest Gibson IV was convicted to 20 years in prison, group homeowner Regina Askew has been condemned to 12 years in jail.

Others include Mohammad Khan, an assistant administrator at the clinic, was sentenced to 40 years in prison. Sharon Iglehart, a physician, was condemned to 12 years in jail back in August 2015. Walid Hamoudi, a medical practitioner, was also sentenced to 5 years back in August 2015.

The U.S Medicare Fraud Strike Task Force

This case was investigated by Medicare Fraud Strike Task Force which was incepted in March 2017.

It has locations in nine cities countrywide. To date, the organization has helped convict 3,000 people in defrauded or attempted to defraud the U.S Medicare program for more than $11 billion. The largest fraud level the force has ever handled is In June 2015 where more than 240 individuals such as doctors, nurses, and other licensed professionals were arrested for participating in Medicare fraud schemes worth $712 million in false billings, conspiracy to commit health care fraud, identity theft, money laundering and offering and receiving kickbacks.

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