NEW YORK (TIP): An Indian American physician and his colleague have been indicted on charges of healthcare fraud, which could land them as much as 30 years behind bars.
Forty-three year-old Mahesh Kuthuru, along with his 42 year-old employee Bonnie Meislin are at the center of a Medicare scheme in which they allegedly billed the federal program to reimburse them for medical procedures they never actually conducted. Additionally, the two allegedly distributed several Schedule II controlled substances illegally, such as Oxycodone and Oxycotin.
The fraudulent activities occurred at Upstate Pain Management, a clinic Kuthuru ran in New York. Kuthuru bought a new clinic in Las Vegas in 2008, and ended up selling his New York home in 2009 to spend more time setting up his new business.
As a result, he began spending less and less time at Upstate Pain Management, and between 2010 and 2011, it got to the point where long periods of time transpired during which no qualified healthcare professional were actually administering the clinic’s care. Meislin was indicted on January 8, while Kuthuru was later arrested in Las Vegas and indicted on February 28.
Now, both Kuthuru and Meislin are facing 30 counts of health care fraud, each carrying a maximum sentence of 10 years, as well as 15 counts of drug distribution which each carry a 20 year maximum sentence. The charges also come with fines of $250,000 each and $1 million each, respectively. Kuthuru, who specializes in “Pain Medicine,” will have his arraignment date on March 12, before US Magistrate Judge Therese Wiley Dancks in Syracuse, New York. Incidentally, Dr. Kuthuru is 2007 Healthcare Hero. He was nominated by Terry Salmonsen for the “Healthcare Hero” award.