Dr. Ghyasuddin Syed has pleaded guilty to receiving $475,992 in kickbacks from the owner of a Houston toxicology laboratory. Dr. Syed operates a pain management clinic in Baytown.
Uday Shah, who owned and operated several labs, originally pleaded guilty in October 2019. He was sentenced to 24 months’ imprisonment. Timothy Andrews of Deer Park, who worked as a marketer for Mr Shah, pleaded guilty in June 2019. He got 15 months.
The scheme ran from November 2014 through August 2017. Mr Shah paid kickbacks to Dr Syed, though the payments were disguised as rent payments from Mr Shah to entities controlled by Dr. Syed or his wife, Shazana Begum. In return, Dr. Syed referred urine drug testing to Shah’s labs, including Pinnacle Laboratories in Lexington, Kentucky. Medicare paid the labs $325,739 to which they were not entitled.
Dr. Syed is scheduled to be sentenced in March 2021 in the Eastern District of Kentucky. He faces up to five years in prison for the conspiracy to violate the Anti-Kickback Statute, and a maximum fine of $250,000.
Dr. Syed’s wife, Shazana Begum, has entered into a pretrial diversion agreement wherein she admitted her role in the offense. She agreed to be under the supervision of the United States Probation Office for 12 months, to pay restitution of $325,739 along with Shah and Andrews, and to perform community service.
It appears that the case was first brought to the attention of authorities by a lawsuit filed in 2015 by an employee at the laboratory in Kentucky. However, the lawsuit remained sealed until September 2019.