Indian-American Man Jailed for Healthcare Fraud

Indian-American Man Jailed for Healthcare Fraud

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New York: An Indian-American has been sentenced to over six years in prison for engaging in an USD 2.5 million health care fraud scheme and was ordered to forfeit a similar amount to authorities.

Ankur Roy, 38, of Florida, was sentenced to 75 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release by US District Court Judge Gary Feinerman last Friday.

Roy was also ordered to forfeit more than USD 2.5 million in proceeds he and his co-defendants gained by defrauding federal health insurance programmes Medicare and Blue Cross Blue Shield.

Roy, a former owner and operator of a health clinic that provided outpatient physical and respiratory therapy, has been ordered to surrender to the Federal Bureau of Prisons in July.

He was charged in 2013 with two other Indian co-defendants who both pleaded guilty; Dipen Desai, who was sentenced to 27 months' imprisonment in December 2014, and Akash Patel, who is scheduled to be sentenced in July. Roy was convicted of five counts of the indictment by a jury in July 2014.

Between March and May 2011, Roy and his co-defendants submitted false and fraudulent health insurance claim forms to Medicare and Blue Cross Blue Shield for respiratory therapy services that they knew were never provided to patients.

Roy, who proposed the scheme to his co-defendants as a means to extricate themselves from debt, designed the scheme to avoid raising red flags with Medicare and Blue Cross Blue Shield's fraud detection systems.

As a result of these false claims, Medicare and Blue Cross Blue Shield paid defendants over USD 2.5 million. Roy took over USD 600,000 of that sum and used it for his own personal purposes, including for personal expenses, paying off credit card bills and repaying his student loan.

"Defendant Roy's fraud deprived Medicare and Blue Cross Blue Shield of over USD 2.5 million, a substantial sum of money that should have gone to pay for medical services for senior citizens, and not to line his and his partners' pockets," Assistant US Attorney Maureen Merin argued at sentencing.