NEW YORK – The US Department of Justice said last week that a South Carolina doctor has agreed to pay $585,540 to resolve False Claims Act allegations and will cooperate in DOJ investigations and litigation against other participants in an alleged lab fraud scheme.
According to the DOJ, Moustafa Moustafa and his medical practice, South Carolina Nephrology and Hypertension Center received kickbacks in violation of the Anti-Kickback Statute in exchange for referring patients for lab testing, which caused submission of false or fraudulent claims to Medicare and TRICARE.
Moustafa is alleged to have received between June 2017 and December 2021 kickbacks disguised as office space rental and phlebotomy payments from a South Carolina clinical lab in return for lab referrals. Additionally, between August 2020 and December 2022, he allegedly received kickbacks in the form of free clinical staff from a New Jersey-based clinical lab. Also, between September 2019 and March 2023, Moustafa allegedly received kickbacks from marketing group Ralston Health Group disguised as consulting and medical director payments in return for ordering lab services from five labs.
The DOJ said that the claims resolved by the settlement are allegations only, and there has been no determination of liability.