Dr. Ishtiaq Malik fined $17 million for false medical claims

A Bethesda-based doctor is being forced to pay back $17 million that state officials say he collected fraudulently through submitting false claims and double-billing for health care.

Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler said that Dr. Ishtiaq Malik, who owns practices in both Montgomery County and the District of Columbia, submitted claims for services that were unrelated to patient treatment, double-billed for medical care and billed for services that never were provided.

Malik and this two practices have been ordered to pay penalties of $5,500 per false claim, which totals just less than $1.7 million. The federal government is also fining him three times the amount of fraudulent claims submitted, which totals more than $15 million.

"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 in a statement.