Bryan Cohen Aug. 1, 2013, 6:32pm

BALTIMORE (Legal Newsline) - Maryland Attorney General Douglas Gansler announced Wednesday that a Bethesda doctor and his two companies were ordered to pay more than $17 million for allegedly submitting false or fraudulent claims to healthcare programs.

Ishtiaq Malik and his companies, Advanced Nuclear Diagnostics P.C. and Ishtiaq A. Malik M.D. P.C., allegedly submitted illegal claims for payment to Medicaid, Medicare and other government healthcare programs related to cardiac nuclear stress tests. The defendants allegedly double-billed for some services, submitted claims for additional services unrelated to the treatment provided and billed for services that were never provided.

"If anyone tries to defraud Maryland taxpayers using the Medicaid Program, this office will use all the tools we have to recover that money and much more," Gansler said. "Although we hope to never again confront this type of fraud, let this penalty send a message that this type of theft of taxpayer dollars carries a severe penalty."

In February, Maryland and the District of Columbia joined the federal government's 2012 lawsuit against Malik and his two companies. The state of Maryland will receive $305,151.24 as part of the order, triple the amount of allegedly improperly billed services reimbursed by the Maryland Medicaid Program. The state's False Claims Act provides for triple damages in some Medicaid fraud actions.

Malik and his companies were also ordered to pay a total of $1,672,000 in additional penalties. Maryland's share of that amount was not yet determined.

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