Defunct Texas lab and owner to pay $5.7 million in Medicare fraud settlement

HOUSTON, Texas — A now defunct Texas-based clinical laboratory, BestCare Laboratory Services LLC, and its founder, Karim A. Maghareh, have agreed to pay an additional $5.7 million to settle an outstanding False Claims Act judgment, according to a recent announcement.

The judgment was entered in 2018 after a court found that BestCare knowingly submitted false claims to Medicare. The fraudulent activity, directed by Maghareh, involved billing for travel allowance reimbursements that did not accurately reflect the mileage lab technicians had traveled when collecting specimens from nursing home residents in Texas.

Today’s settlement is designed to resolve BestCare and Maghareh’s outstanding obligation under the 2018 judgment. The settlement provides for payments totaling $5.7 million and the possibility of additional annual payments for five years based on Maghareh’s future income. These payments are in addition to $789,652 that the United States has already collected since 2018. The settlement amount is based on the Department of Justice’s ability-to-pay policy.

The lawsuit was initially filed in 2008 by Richard Drummond under the qui tam, or whistleblower, provisions of the False Claims Act. As part of this settlement, Drummond will receive $1,311,000.

Source: Defunct Texas lab and owner to pay $5.7 million in Medicare fraud settlement / My Texas Daily

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