Earlier this year, Houston psychiatrist Riaz Mazcuri was found guilty for his involvement with a $158 million Medicare fraud scheme being run out of Riverside General Hospital.
He was convicted in May by a federal jury on one count of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud and five counts of fraud, and his sentencing is set for October.
65-year-old Mazcuri is just one person found guilty in connection with the scheme, in which fake paperwork for partial hospitalization was submitted.
According to evidence submitted during trial, Riverside General paid bribes and kickbacks to nursing homes and group homes in exchange for sending people to Riverside. Those patients were ostensibly sent there for Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) services, part of outpatient treatment for certain people with mental illness.
The people supposedly getting this care, however, were sometimes patients with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease who were mentally incapable of participation in the program, or benefitting from it. Documents presented at trial showed Riverside provided no services to these patients, but falsified documents to make it appear they did so they could cash in.
According to document, Mazcuri filed more than $4.5 million in fraudulent service claims on behalf of himself and another $55 million through Riverside hospital. A number of others have been convicted and sentenced with prison time.