Indian-American Get 17 Yrs in Jail for $57 Mn Health Fraud

An Indian-American pharmacist has been sentenced to 17 years in prison by a US court for a major healthcare fraud worth USD 57 million.

Babubhai (Bob) Patel, 50, who owned and operated 26 pharmacies across metro Detroit, was sentenced in Michigan court, five months after a jury convicted him of billing the government for more than USD 57 million for painkillers that were medically unnecessary or never provided.

The government said he paid doctors to write the orders and had recruiters offer cash to poor people in exchange for their Medicare or Medicaid number.

He was arrested on August 2, 2011.

In addition to 17 years of imprisonment, the court also ordered Patel to pay restitution to the Medicaid and Medicare programs in the amount of USD 17.3 million, and restitution to Blue Cross Blue Shield in the amount of USD 1.5 million.

In sentencing the defendant, the court told the defendant that "what you have done is reprehensible."

The criminal conduct engaged in by other health care fraud violators sentenced by the court was "small scale compared to this."

According to evidence presented during a six-week jury trial concluding in August 2012, Patel between 2006 and 2011, billed Medicare and Medicaid more than USD 57 million.

At least 25 per cent of those billings were for drugs that were either medically unnecessary never dispensed.

Additional amounts were fraudulently billed to private insurers such as Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

The pharmacies operated on a business model that paid kickbacks to physicians in exchange for writing prescriptions for expensive medications, the Justice Department said.

The affiliated doctors would also write prescriptions for controlled substances, without regard to medical necessity, which would be filled at the pharmacies and distributed to paid "patients" and patient recruiters.

The expensive non-controlled medications would be billed but not dispensed.

Earlier this week, the US court sentenced an Indian Canadian (Brijesh Rawal) and two Indian nationals – Ashwini Sharma and Lokesh Tayal -- to 68 months of imprisonment for their participation as pharmacists in these criminal offenses.

They will be deported to their country of their citizenship upon the completion of their sentences.

Emerging story. Watch this space for updates as more details come in
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3/D-37
Feb 04, 2013
10:50 AM

Sanket by asking for a life term for this joker,you have committed sacrilage,Mind you so many jokers on this sits sought to blame a now most often conspirasy angle when Rajat(fraud) was remanded for insider trading.

Unless the Americans get there acts together ,they will find many such cases of fraud by Indian Americans,They will rip the economy.

The Pakis must be kept on the watch for terror.

wrongone, chennai
2/D-125
Feb 03, 2013
05:09 PM

Two more Indians---Ashwini Sharma and Lokesh Tayal--- have done it like Babubhai Patel to make us proud. Do keep the flag of India fying above the Statue of Liberty.

Are Sharma and Tayal same khet ka mooli?

Ashisda please help. I need your help. Certainly Tayal will not be a SC, ST or OBC, is he? They are, I am afraid,  yet to open their account in US. 

Sanket Biswas, Kolkata
1/D-121
Feb 03, 2013
04:58 PM

 Let America ensure that the great Indian American Babubhai (Bob) Patel, 50, does not come out of jail till his last day.

He has India and Indians proud. 

Will Prof. Ashis Nady tell us the caste and social classification of the  man? You alone can enlighten me.  

Sanket Biswas, Kolkata
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