Tariq Mahmood (Jail photo)
TYLER (July 16, 2013)—The owner of five Texas hospitals, including one in Cameron, has been named in a federal indictment charging him with Medicare fraud.
Tariq Mahmood, 61, from Cedar Hill, on April 11 was named in the indictment by a federal grand jury in the court’s Eastern District of Texas, based in Tyler, and is charged with conspiracy to commit more than $1 million in health care fraud in nine separate counts.
Court records show Mahmood owns five hospitals in Texas, including the Central Texas Hospital, in Cameron, Cozby Germany Hospital in Grand Saline, Renaissance Terrell Hospital in Terrell, Community General Hospital in Dilley, and Shelby Regional Medical Center in Center.
Mahmood, who has denied the charges, appeared before U.S. Magistrate John D. Love in April and had a bond set at $25,000.
Mahmood was released from custody after posting the bond and surrendering his U.S. Passport to the Tyler court.
U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Texas John M. Bales said the Tyler grand jury indicted Mahmood for reporting more than $1.1 million in fraudulent health care charges to Medicare and Medicaid.
Bales said evidence shows Mahmood used Medicare and Medicaid provider numbers issued to hospitals he owns and operates.
He could face up to 10 years in federal prison on each charge if convicted, Bales said.
The administrator of the Cameron hospital said he is aware of the charges against Mahmood but that there should be no affect on the hospital’s operation.
Joe White said the Cameron facility is its own entity and is still receiving Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements.
In the indictment, a copy of which was obtained by News 10, indicates that from April 2010 to April 2013, Mahmood conspired with others to devise and implement a scheme to submit fraudulent claims for reimbursement through both the Medicare and Medicaid systems.
In the documents presented to the grand jury, prosecutors allege the conspirators received more than $375,000 in fraudulent claims by changing or altering billing and diagnostic coding.
Agents of the FBI, the Texas Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Unit, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General and the U.S. Postal Service worked together to complete the investigation, the court complaint said.
Because the case still is under investigation, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office declined to comment further, saying additional indictments and charges could be forthcoming.