NEWARK– A doctor with a practice in Elizabeth and his wife pleaded guilty last week to a health care fraud scheme in which more than 20,000 patient visits were conducted by individuals posing as licensed physicians for as little as $10 an hour, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Yousuf Masood, 47, and his wife, Maruk Masood, of Warren, pleaded guilty on April 21 to charges of conspiracy to commit health care fraud.
Yousuf Masood admitted that he used unlicensed individuals to diagnose and treat patients in his Elizabeth office and billed Medicaid and Medicare as if he had provided the services. As part of his guilty plea, Yousuf Masood agreed to pay more than $1.8 million in restitution and forfeiture based on the fraudulent Medicaid and Medicare billings.
Yousuf Masood was the top prescriber of drugs to Medicaid patients in New Jersey in 2009, prescribing more than $9 million in Medicaid drugs that year. The next-highest prescribing doctor in New Jersey prescribed less than $6 million. The Masoods admitted that Yousuf Masood provided the unlicensed individuals with pre-signed, blank prescription forms to write prescriptions in his name for patients they were improperly examining and treating.
The conspiracy charges to which Yousuf and Maruk Masood pleaded guilty carry a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense. Sentencing is scheduled for July 27, 2011, before U.S. District Judge Faith S. Hochberg.
Charges against the three unlicensed individuals are still pending.
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