Washington, DC: A number of Indian-Americans were among 107 people charged across seven different cities for their role in a Medicare fraud involving a whopping $452 million, in one of the biggest busts by the US authorities.
Those arrested included doctors, nurses, social workers, health-care company owners in Miami, Los Angeles, Houston, Detroit, Chicago, Tampa and Baton Rouge. The Medicare Fraud Strike Force charged 107 people for their alleged collusion in Medicare fraud schemes involving approximately $452 million in false billings, the Department of Justice said in a statement.
This is the highest amount of alleged false Medicare billings involved in a single takedown in the Strike Force’s five-year history. In an indictment unsealed on May 2, prosecutors accuse Hoor Naz Jafri, a naturalized US citizen from India, and Roslyn F. Dogan of “a pattern of brazenly disregarding legal and administrative processes” at their Baton Rouge clinics. Jafri, faces eight counts of conspiracy and health care fraud. Dogan faces four counts. If convicted, Jafri faces up to 80 years in prison and Dogan up to 40 years. Prosecutors want them jailed until trial.
Both defendants face forfeiture of at least $37.9 million. A preliminary sentencing guidelines analysis shows that the prison sentence for both defendants, based on indicted and relevant conduct, would be life.
In Detroit, the FBI arrested 19 people at 10 facilities accused of $50 million in Medicare fraud, the Detroit Free Press reported. Of those charged in Detroit at least four are Indian-Americans —Sachin Sharma, 36; Dana Sharma, 29; Madhur Thawani, 27; and Ankit Patel, 27; from Michigan.
“The day of stealing from taxpayers is over,” US Attorney Barbara McQuade said in announcing the Detroit charges.