‘Unrepentant fraudster’ jailed in $132M scheme

Robert Snell
The Detroit News

Detroit — A federal judge Thursday revoked the bond of a West Bloomfield Township businessman accused of masterminding a $132 million health care fraud scheme — the largest in Metro Detroit history — for contacting witnesses and a co-defendant in the case.

The move by U.S. District Judge Denise Page Hood comes two months after Mashiyat Rashid, 37, was released on $500,000 bond, ordered to wear a GPS tether and live under house arrest.

His jailing is a stark reversal of fortune for Rashid, who prosecutors say blew money from the $132 million scheme on a $7 million mansion in Franklin and enjoyed a luxury lifestyle that included an orange Lamborghini, a cherry-red Ferrari, luxury watches and private jet flights. Authorities allege he was caught with a duffel bag stuffed with $500,000.

Despite strict bond conditions that barred him from using a cellphone, Rashid used phones to arrange secret meetings with a co-defendant in a bathroom, contacted witnesses and enlisted the help of his personal trainer to meet with others, prosecutors wrote.

“Mashiyat Rashid is an unrepentant fraudster,” Justice Department trial attorney Jacob Foster wrote in the filing. “Rashid has repeatedly violated the conditions. The court should revoke Rashid’s bond and issue a warrant.”

Rashid was arrested Wednesday and his bond was revoked Thursday, according to court records.

“We are disappointed with the detention but respect the judge’s authority,” Rashid’s lawyer Gerald Gleeson said. “We are considering a motion for reconsideration once we can provide and present further facts to justify a release.”

While free on bond, Rashid violated bond by using a land-line phone and his wife’s cellphone to make 137 calls, Foster wrote in a filing. Rashid also contacted former employees, government witnesses and a co-defendant.

The witnesses and co-defendant are not identified in the court filing, much of which is sealed.

Rashid faces up to life in federal prison if he is convicted of the charges, which include health fraud conspiracy, money laundering and receiving kickbacks.

Rashid orchestrated a conspiracy that dates to 2008 involving six others and a web of companies controlled by him, prosecutors allege.

The companies included Tri-County Physicians and National Laboratories, which have offices at Detroit’s iconic Fisher Building. FBI agents raided the building in July, among other locations.

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.

The conspiracy generated so much money that Rashid withdrew $500,000 from a bank this summer and stuffed the cash in a duffel bag, the government said. A surveillance team of federal agents watched him enter and leave the bank.


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