Houston psychiatrist Riaz Mazcuri was found guilty of 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. 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 Alzheimers disease who were mentally incapable of participation in the program, or benefitting from it. Documents presented at trial showed that Riverside provided no services to these patients, but falsified documents to make it appear that they were so they could cash in.
Mazcuri filed more than $4.5 million in fraudulent service claims on behalf of himself, and another $55 million through Riverside hospital, according to Patch. 15 others have been convicted and sentenced with prison time.