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Four Indian Americans charged with healthcare fraud

Indian Americans in health care fraud

Chicago, May 15 (IANS) Four Indian Americans are among 89 people charged with healthcare fraud running into about $233 million in false billing after a nationwide strike in eight cities, according to federal authorities.

All the Indian Americans charged are from the Chicago area.

Ankur Roy, Akash Patel, and Dipen Desai, have been charged with six counts of health care fraud each in an indictment that was returned by a federal grand jury last Wednesday and unsealed Tuesday.

The three, who owned and operated Selectcare Health Inc, which provided outpatient physical and respiratory therapy in Park Ridge and Skokie, were charged with submitting more than $4 million in false billings to Medicare between March and July 2011.

Roy, 36, of Miami was arrested Tuesday in south Florida, while Patel, 33, of Morton Grove, and Desai, 33, of Chicago, will be ordered to appear for arraignment on a later date in US District Court in Chicago.

According to the indictment, the three allegedly submitted $4,009,094 in false billings for services that were purportedly provided between April 2010 and April 2011, resulting in payments totalling approximately $2,214,424 from Medicare and $320,881 from Blue Cross Blue Shield.

The indictment seeks forfeiture of $2,535,305 in alleged fraud proceeds, including $446,974 in funds withdrawn by cashiers’ cheques that were seized by the FBI in July 2012.

In a second case Dr. Nalini Ahluwalia, 58, was charged with one count of violating the anti-kickback law for allegedly receiving $1,000 in exchange for referring two patients to a home health care agency in Aug 2012.

The charges demonstrate that “we will not tolerate medical professionals and providers who abuse our healthcare system,” said Gary S. Shapiro, US Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.

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