Haverhill Lab and its owner Methuen face charges related to $2 million MassHealth fraud

A Haverhill Lab and its chairman Methuen were among those charged Monday with alleged Medicaid fraud, money laundering and kickbacks involving urine drug tests that resulted in more than $2 million in false invoices.

Attorney General Maura Healey said Tuesday that Lab USA, with an operation out of the back of 108 Merrimack St. in downtown Haverhill, and Mohammad F. Afreedi, 64, of Methuen, were charged under of a state law relating to “kickbacks, bribes, or rebates” and conspiracy.

Lab USA was among four independent clinical labs, their owners, two lab marketing companies and a Massachusetts physician who were indicted by a statewide grand jury.

In addition to Lab USA, Summit Diagnostics of Salem, NH, and its founder and CEO George Powell, 62, of Londonderry, NH, were each charged with two counts of bribery, bribery or rebates’ and conspiracy.

They will face trial later in Suffolk Superior Court.

Healey’s office said the indictments all relate to Vipin Adhlakha and three independent clinical labs he owned – Alpha Labs, Aria Diagnostics and Preferred Laboratory, all of Westfield, Ind. They are responsible for submitting claims to MassHealth for urine drug testing.

It is alleged that Adhlakha and his companies engaged in kickback relationships with marketing companies OSA Exports and Summit Diagnostics to increase the number of urine drug tests referred to his labs in exchange of a percentage of insurance reimbursements collected in violation of Massachusetts anti-bribery law. The attorney general’s office also alleges that Adhlakha and his companies engaged in a separate kickback relationship with Lab USA, which involved sending urine samples back for testing in exchange for a percentage of the insurance reimbursements collected.

He is also accused of conspiring with Dr. Darrolyn McCarroll-Lindsay of Oak Bluffs to conduct urine drug tests for residential sobriety monitoring purposes in Massachusetts sober houses. Under state regulations, labs cannot bill MassHealth for tests performed in sober houses and shelters for residential monitoring purposes, as these tests are not medically necessary.

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