State News

Audit: Doc overcharged the state $500K to treat prisoners

Posted September 28, 2016

— An audit of records from the North Carolina Department of Public Safety found that a doctor contracted to treat prisoners overstated time worked, to the tune of at least $567,125 in overpayments.

Dr. Sami Hassan is now the subject of a criminal investigation after State Auditor Beth Wood's office found he charged the Department of Public Safety for four times the number of hours he actually spent working at five prisons.

Following up on a tip, the Department of Public Safety noticed discrepancies between the doctor's records and entry and exit logs at the prisons. Wood's staff calculated the doctor overbilled more than 4,500 hours over three years.

Hassan's contract calls for him to be paid $125 per hour. He told auditors that he had "tacit agreement" with the department to bill a minimum of eight hours for a visit to a large facility and three hours for a visit to a small facility, no matter how much time he actually spent on site.

Department administrators deny any agreement, but the audit found prison officials who turned a blind eye to Hassan's overbilling, even when employees pointed it out.

"You had two other employees whose supervisors told them, 'Don't try to reconcile his time with what he's charging us. It's hard to get doctors to work in the prison system, and just go with whatever he turns in,'" Wood said.

As a result of the audit findings, DPS is reviewing the time logs of other doctors who serve the prison system.


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  • Cora Blue Sep 28, 2016
    user avatar

    I think Don Henley said it best, "A man with a briefcase can steal more money than any man with a gun." Dr. Sami Hassan is a threat to all Americans who pay into the system...yes, I'd call him a terrorist- but with a completely different angle than the guys with bombs and guns. People like him will bring us to ruin- from the inside out.

  • Norman Lewis Sep 28, 2016
    user avatar

    "Possible" fraud violations? The doctor stole over half a million dollars from the state taxpayers. That is a major felony level offense deserving of prison time in my opinion. Minor discrepancies like rounding 25 minutes to a half hour could be excused but this is an incredible theft. How many school kids could have had free supplies given to them? That much money could have funded multiple school teachers. 500 computers could have been furnished to class rooms all over the state.