Monday, October 31, 2016
TYLER, Texas – The United States has obtained a civil judgment for $1,223,414.50 against Tariq Mahmood, who owned and operated multiple rural hospitals across Texas, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Brit Featherston.
In July 2014, a jury found Tariq Mahmood, of Cedar Hill, Texas, guilty of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, seven counts of health care fraud, and seven counts of aggravated identity theft following a four-day trial before U.S. District Judge Michael Schneider. A federal grand jury indicted Mahmood on April 11, 2013.
Following his conviction, the United States brought a False Claims Act action against Mahmood in the Eastern District of Texas captioned United States of America v. Tariq Mahmood, Case Number 6:15-cv-948. The Government alleged in its Motion for Summary Judgment that Mahmood was estopped from denying liability under the False Claims Act as a result of his criminal health care fraud and conspiracy convictions.
In the Court’s Final Judgment dated Oct. 28, 2016, U.S. Magistrate Judge K. Nicole Mitchell ordered Mahmood to pay the United States $1,223,414.50. The amount owed to the United States includes $288,414.50 in damages plus an additional $935,000.00 in civil penalties arising from the submission of 85 false claims. The Court awarded the United States the highest applicable civil penalty for each false claim Mahmood caused to be submitted to Medicare and Medicaid.
“The Department of Justice and the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Texas aggressively prosecute health care fraud, both criminally and civilly,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Featherston. “When our national programs are defrauded, the public wants its money back. Our office is committed to recovering those public funds.”
The criminal case was investigated by the Texas Office of the Attorney General – Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (OAG-MFCU), the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – Office of the Inspector General (HHS-OIG), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS). The civil action was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joshua Russ and James Gillingham.
Thursday, September 15, 2016
According to information presented in court, Mahmood, a general practitioner, owned and operated several hospitals in the state of Texas, including Cozby Germany Hospital in Grand Saline, Renaissance Terrell Hospital in Terrell, Central Texas Hospital in Cameron, Community General Hospital in Dilley, and Lake Whitney Medical Center in Whitney. From January 2010 to April 2013, Mahmood and others carried out a scheme to defraud Medicare and Medicaid through the submission of false and fraudulent claims. Mahmood and others added, changed, and incorrectly sequenced diagnostic codes in a way that did not reflect the actual diagnoses and conditions of the patients and often did so without reviewing the medical records. They submitted false and fraudulent claims to Medicare and Medicaid based on the added, changed, and incorrectly sequenced diagnostic codes. Mahmood and others also unlawfully used Medicare beneficiaries’ names and Medicare numbers in order to commit health care fraud.
Following his appeal, Mahmood was resentenced to 135 months in federal prison and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $145,358.23 to Medicare, Medicaid, and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas.
The case was investigated by the Texas Office of the Attorney General – Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (OAG-MFCU), the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – Office of the Inspector General (HHS-OIG), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS). This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Nathaniel C. Kummerfeld and Frank Coan and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Ken McGurk.
Any individuals with knowledge of these or other health care fraud violations are encouraged to contact the Department of Health and Human Services’ fraud hotline at 1-800-HHS-TIPS (447-8477)