BISMARCK, N.D. – Insurance Commissioner Jon Godfread today announced that Dr. Sheryar Masud of Williston, ND, was sentenced in Cass County District Court after pleading guilty to one count of a class A felony fraudulent insurance act following an investigation conducted by the North Dakota Insurance Department. Masud admitted to billing Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota (BCBSND) for approximately 66 days of face-to-face patient care in excess of 24 hours per day. BCBSND then paid Masud more than $365,000 for the claims.
“This case is a great example of how insurance fraud comes in all shapes and sizes,” Godfread said. “I’m proud of the work our Department investigators have done because every case of fraud, no matter how big or small, is a huge problem. It adds up and affects all North Dakota consumers negatively.”
After the Cass County State’s Attorney’s Office successfully prosecuted the case, Masud served 10 days in jail and 180 days with an ankle monitor, was placed on one year of unsupervised probation and ordered to pay $250,000 in restitution by Judge Tom Olson.
Insurance fraud costs consumers in the United States between $80-120 billion each year, equaling about $950 per family annually. It is the second most profitable crime in the U.S. behind only illegal drug sales. Examples of insurance fraud include but are not limited to:
Deliberate attempts to stage an accident, injury, theft, arson or other type of loss that would be covered under an insurance policy (ie. setting fire to your home)
Exaggerating a legitimate claim (ie. doubling the value of stolen jewelry)
Knowingly omitting or providing false information on an insurance policy application (ie. purchasing a policy for a previously damaged vehicle and omitting the damage in the application to file a claim at a later date)
For more information or to report suspected fraud, please contact the Department at (701) 328-2440.