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Indian-American couple in medic fraud

An Indian-American doctor couple faces five years imprisonment after being charged by FBI for adopting unprofessional medical practises, like distributing controlled substances in their clinic described as ‘pill mill´ and billing the government for whopping $8.7 million.

world Updated: Jul 08, 2009 16:57 IST

An Indian-American doctor couple faces five years imprisonment after being charged by FBI for adopting unprofessional medical practises, like distributing controlled substances in their clinic described as ‘pill mill´ and billing the government for whopping $8.7 million.

The doctor couple, Dr Arun Sharma and his wife, Dr Kiran Sharma, MD, both 54 practised in Baytown and Texas. The charges carry a punishment of five years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.

They allegedly prescribed 615,000 tablets of Vicodan, 66,000 tablets of Xanax and 26,000 tablets of Valium in less than a year. A single patient was prescribed more than 8,000 hydrocodone tablets in an eight month period spanning September 2008 and April 2009. They used to charge up to USD 100 from the patients for each hydrocodone prescription.

The couple has also been charged for a conspiracy to defraud Medicare and Medicaid. The doctors allegedly billed the government for more than $8.7 million for injections that were never performed.

While searching the couple’s home, investigators found a whopping $700,000. Another amount of $816,000 was recovered from a pair of bank safe deposit boxes issued in the name of Sharmas’. The FBI has termed it as a staggering dollar fraud, given the fact that there were only two people involved in the crime.