Indian-origin woman doctor jailed for healthcare fraud in US

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Yoshita Singh

Boston, Feb 26 (PTI) An Indian-origin doctor has beensentenced to eight years in prison for committing healthcarefraud along with her husband by a US court, which also orderedthe couple to forfeit over USD 43 million in cash and propertythey gained through their 10-year scam.

Kiran Sharma, 56, had pleaded guilty to one count ofconspiracy and one count of healthcare fraud last year.

Her husband, Arun Sharma, also a doctor, was sentenced to15 years in prison earlier this month for fraudulently billinggovernment insurance programme Medicare, Medicaid and variousprivate healthcare providers for medical procedures that werenot performed, US Attorney Jose Angel Moreno said in astatement.

The Texas couple have been ordered by US District JudgeDavid Hittner to forfeit more than 43 million dollars,including their 700,000 dollar home in Texas, more than700,000 dollars in cash found during a search of their home,over 800,000 dollars in cash found in two safe deposit boxesand a number of investment accounts funded with the proceedsof their fraudulent scheme.

Sharma has been remanded into the custody of the USMarshals Service to begin serving her eight-year sentence.

The couple had pleaded guilty in April 2010.

Arun Sharma too is in federal custody following hissentencing pending designation and transfer to a Bureau ofPrisons facility.

During 1998-2009, the couple owned and operated multiplemedical clinics under the name Allergy, Asthma, Arthritis PainCentre.

Kiran Sharma, who maintained an allergy practice, wouldsign patient procedure forms and superbills, falselyindicating that she had administered injections to thepatients when in reality she did not.

She also hired several foreign medical graduates whohelped add fictitious patient examination information to theblank progress/procedure notes.

Her husband also made patients sign blank procedure notesand then billed insurance companies for injection proceduresfor days when the patient was not in the clinic.

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