Alleged fraudster’s $10M fortune goes poof

Robert Snell
The Detroit News

Detroit – The lawyer for a venture capitalist charged with orchestrating a $132 million health care fraud scheme wants to bail from the case because the accused fraudster’s $10 million fortune was seized by investigators.

A federal court filing Tuesday details a reversal of fortune for West Bloomfield Township resident Mashiyat Rashid, 37, who federal prosecutors say is the architect of one of the biggest health care fraud cases in Metro Detroit history.

A series of asset seizures have left Rashid with no money to pay defense lawyer Mohammed Nasser, the attorney wrote in a federal court filing Tuesday. Nasser asked Chief U.S. District Judge Denise Page Hood for permission to withdraw from the case.

Prosecutors say Mashiyat Rashid, right, spent hundreds of thousands to travel by jet and to build a house. His assets have been seized. (other man's face intentionally blurred)

The request came one day after The Detroit News chronicled Rashid’s wealthy lifestyle, which included a $7 million Franklin mansion, secret storage units stuffed with cash, $500,000 in a duffel bag and a $6.6 million investment portfolio, according to federal prosecutors and court records.

“Apparently (Rashid) is unable to fulfill certain obligations ... which has created an undue financial burden and undue hardship upon (me) if required to continue with representation,” Nasser wrote in the filing.

There also are irreconcilable differences between the lawyer and Rashid, according to the filing.

The lawyer did not detail which assets have been seized by investigators. But prosecutors have said Rashid transferred $10 million into his personal bank accounts during the nearly decade-long conspiracy.

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.

Rashid faces up to life in federal prison if convicted of crimes including health care fraud conspiracy, money laundering and receiving kickbacks.

He is being held without bond pending an Aug. 22 trial in federal court in Detroit.

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