On behalf of the entire Allegiant Experts team, we hope that you and your loved ones enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving! Our hope is that you were able to spend time with your family and friends, during the holiday, all in the spirit of being thankful. We are mindful, however, that the yearly celebration does have ties to a tragic history that involves the colonization of land that belonged to the Indigenous peoples of our nation.
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Wisconsin doctor who defrauded Medicare receives prison sentence.
Dr. Ravi Murali surely didn’t enjoy his Thanksgiving holiday this year. The 39 year-old physician was just sentenced to 54 months in federal prison for his role in a scheme to defraud Medicare. He pleaded guilty to the charge on March 31, 2021.
As reported by the Western District of Wisconsin branch of the United States Department of Justice, this past Monday, Dr. Murali wrote thousands of fraudulent orders for Durable Medical Equipment (DME). The DoJ report reveals that other participants in the scheme used Dr. Murali’s fraudulent orders to bill Medicare $26 million. The federal health insurance program ended up paying out half of that amount.
“At sentencing, Chief Judge Peterson emphasized that a severe sentence was necessary to deter other providers who were considering whether to defraud Medicare and other federal programs,” reports the DoJ, “Further, Chief Judge Peterson noted that Dr. Murali’s history of dishonesty - he was previously disciplined by the Wisconsin Medical Examining Board for creating a fraudulent diploma to falsely claim that he completed residency - cut in favor of a longer sentence.”
Kentucky doctor sentenced for unlawful kickback conspiracy.
Murali was not the only doctor to receive a punishment this week. Louisville, Kentucky’s John Baird was sentenced to five years probation, this past Tuesday. The sentence includes two years of home detention. The 55 year-old has also been ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $567,609.36 to Medicare.
As reported by the Western District of Pennsylvania branch of the United States Department of Justice, Baird pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to solicit and receive unlawful kickbacks. During his hearing, back in July of 2018, the licensed physician admitted to entering into an illegal kickbacks-for-referrals conspiracy with drug-testing laboratory owner, Williams Hughes.
As part of their agreement, Baird would get cash payments from Hughes’ Universal Oral Fluid Labs (“UOFL”) in exchange for referring patients. Many patients were covered under Medicare for drug testing services. Hughes submitted to and received reimbursements from Medicare for drug testing services for patients referred to the lab by Baird. Baird admitted that between May 2012 and July 2013, he received $567,609.36 in kickbacks from UOFL for his drug testing referrals.
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