An Indian-origin doctor here has been sentenced to eighteen months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, on charges of healthcare fraud and has been ordered to pay over 84,000 dollars as restitution to federal authorities.
Mahesh Kuthuru, 43, who owned and operated a pain management centre in New York state, was sentenced by US District Court Judge David Hurd to 18 months for healthcare fraud and another 12 months for unlawful distribution of controlled substances.
Both the prison terms will run concurrently.
He has also been ordered to pay over $84,265 dollars as restitution due to federal insurance programme Medicare.
Kuthuru, who was remanded to the custody of the US Marshals upon being sentenced, will serve three years of supervised release upon being freed from the prison.
"The public expects physicians to apply high standards of professionalism in their interactions with their patients and delivery of healthcare services.
"Actions such as these demonstrate a complete disregard to the quality of care for patients.
"These criminal activities place additional burden on the public seeking competent health services, resulting in rising costs of healthcare," US Attorney Richard Hartunian said.
"Healthcare fraud remains a priority of my office and we will continue to aggressively prosecute such cases," he said.
In January this year, Kuthuru had pled guilty to charges of executing a scheme to defraud Medicare, and other healthcare benefit programmes by submitting a claim that the defendant had rendered medical services to a patient, when, in fact, neither he, nor any physician any licensed non-physician practitioner acting under his direct supervision, had rendered those services.
Kuthuru had also pleaded guilty to charge of unlawfully distributing controlled substances.
According to the indictment, Kuthuru, and another co-defendant Bonnie Meislin, engaged in a scheme to defraud Medicare by submitting claims for reimbursement that falsely represented that the former had performed medical services when in fact he had not.
Kuthuru purchased a medical practice in Las Vegas in November 2008.
By January 2010 through at least September 2011, Kuthuru was spending the majority of his time at his Las Vegas medical practice, coming back to the New York offices to treat patients only on a sporadic basis.
From January 2010 through September 2011 there were substantial periods of time when there were no licensed medical personnel in the New York offices.
Patients there were seen only by unlicensed staff members who had received no formal medical training.
The indictment further charged Kuthuru with unlawful distribution of controlled substances including Oxycodone, Oxycotin, Methadone and Morphine Sulphate.