Indian American Doctor pleads guilty to Medicare fraud, illegal prescriptions
CHICAGO (TIP): An Indian American physician, Sathish Narayanappa Babu, of Bolingbrook, Illinois, has pleaded guilty to charges of fraudulently billing Medicare and prescribing drugs to patients he never examined. He could be sentenced to more than five years in jail.
Babu entered the plea before Judge John J. Tharp, Jr. in federal court, according to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois. Federal prosecutors plan to seek a prison sentence between 57 and 71 months, according to a release announcing the plea deal.
Babu is the owner of Anik Life Sciences Medical Corp. Earlier this year, in February, federal agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, and the FBI executed federal search and seizure warrants at Babu’s residence in Bolingbrook and Anik’s offices in Darien in connection with the ongoing investigation of alleged prescription drug diversion and health care fraud.
Agents seized more than $100,000 from Anik’s bank accounts. Anik Life Sciences was located in Arlington Heights before relocating to Darien last fall.
Babu, 47, was charged with one count each of conspiracy to illegally dispense a controlled substance and health care fraud in a criminal complaint.
According to the complaint, between November 2012 and December 2013, Babu issued five prescriptions, each for 60 doses of 80mg strength OxyContin, to a patient who was actually an undercover agent, despite never having seen or examined the patient, and Babu permitted unlicensed personnel associated with Anik Life Sciences to issue prescriptions to the patient. During the same period, Babu allegedly submitted false claims to Medicare for services purportedly provided to the patient that were not rendered by Babu or another medical professional licensed in Illinois.
The undercover agent posed as a healthy individual purportedly covered by Medicare and seeking physician services to obtain prescription medication, including oxycodone. The agent further purported to have shoulder pain from a previous injury and to be on disability. On approximately 10 occasions, representatives from Anik Life Sciences, none of whom were licensed as physicians, nurses, or other medical professionals in Illinois, visited the undercover agent in his purported apartment.
Babu allegedly caused unlicensed personnel from Anik Life Sciences to provide purported medical care ?including prescriptions issued under Babu’s name and DEA registration number for controlled substances ? to the undercover agent and then billed Medicare for that purported care. Furthermore, the approximately 300 OxyContin pills that Babu allegedly prescribed to the undercover agent were paid for in large part by Medicare.