Convicted for healthcare fraud, money laundering.
By Deepak Chitnis
WASHINGTON, DC: Chiradeep Gupta, a physiotherapist based in Michigan, has been sentenced to 10 years behind bars and ordered to pay nearly $11 million in damages as a result of a healthcare fraud scheme he perpetrated.
Gupta, 39, was sentenced by US District Judge Denise Page Hood in the Eastern District of Michigan. He was originally convicted on October 26, 2012 on one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering and three substantive counts of money laundering for fraud he committed through his physical therapy practice.
According to prosecutors, Gupta and several co-defendants filed false claims to Medicare, seeking reimbursements for medical treatments they gave to patients which were either unnecessary or never even performed.
Gupta was a part-owner of All American, a physical therapy clinic in Oak Park, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. They would hire patient recruiters who paid Medicare enrollees to sign blank documents for these fraudulent services, which were then sent to the federal agency. Medicare, which was told that the services were real, then reimbursed Gupta and his cohorts for these services.
Gupta was also part of another physical therapy practice called Patient Choice, which was in on the scheme as well. The money Gupta made from the schemes was subsequently laundered through various shell companies. In total, Gupta defrauded the federal government out of just under $11 million through his scheme – the exact amount he has now been ordered to pay back to the government once he gets out of jail in a decade.
Another Indian American, 59 year-old Pramod Raval, was also part of the scheme and was found guilty at the same time as Gupta. His charges were one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and one count of conspiracy to solicit or receive health care kickbacks.
The operation was investigated and brought down by the work of the FBI, the IRS, and a joint task force comprised of the Office of the Inspector General and the Department of Health and Human Services. It was also assisted by the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, which was formed in March of 2007 in response to the increasing number of crimes involving the federal aid agency. Since it was founded nearly seven years ago, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force has charged over 1,700 conspirators and billed for more than $5.5 billion in monetary recuperations.