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Sunday, June 5, 2011

NY court charges a physician involved in $700,000 HIV drug fiasco

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance speaks during the Reuters Future Face of Finance Summit in New York
A doctor from Manhattan was busted for falsely telling 150 patients to claim they harbor the HIV virus so he could claim from Medicaid $700,000 for medications.
After posting a $250,000-bond, the 57-year-old Dr. Suresh Hemrajani pleaded not guilty on Friday to felony charges of grand larceny, falsification of records and health care fraud to the Manhattan Supreme Court, New York Post said.
The court said, prospective patients were recruited by middlemen from the streets. They were brought in to the clinic of the Indian-native doctor. There were times ten patients were brought in.
The accused prescribed HIV medications to the recruits without neither laboratory confirmation nor physical examination. Some of them were found to be HIV-negative, according to AP.
The doctor who lives in a $610,000 White Plains home, billed Medicaid for prescription. His cash-strapped patients bought the medications using state health funds. The middlemen bought the drugs from the recruits in exchange for cash and sold them illegally.
District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. said, "By taking advantage of a program intended to assist New Yorkers who cannot afford to pay for medical care, the defendant victimized not only the neediest members of our community but also all New York taxpayers."
Facing 15 years imprisonment, Dr. Hemrajani came to the US in 1984. He has been in medical practice since 1991.
Details of this report here.

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