NEW YORK – A Washington Heights doctor has been indicted for allegedly conspiring with some 150 “patients” to pretend they had HIV so he could bill Medicaid for $700,000 in “treatments” — even though they did not have the virus.by LAURA ITALIANO & ERIN CALABRESE New York Post
The investigation is continuing against the patients, who were recruited off the streets and were allegedly in on the scam — being brought to the doctor’s office sometimes ten at a time by an unnamed middleman.
The unnamed middleman would then help the phony “patients” fill their HIV prescriptions – again paying with Medicaid – then sell them on the black market, prosecutors said.
Suresh Hemrajani, 57, pleaded not guilty in Manhattan Supreme Court to felony charges of grand larceny, fraud and falsifying business records. He was being held this afternoon in lieu of $250,000 bail.
Some thirty of the doctor’s allegedly bogus “patients” have already been indicted, with 17 sentenced to anywhere from probation to lengthy state prison terms.
Hemrajani prescribed medications for the patients on their very first visits, then created false records of repeated treatments, even though most of them never saw the doctor again, DA Cyrus Vance said in announcing the indictment.
The rotten ruse was only revealed after some of the patients later attempted to obtain prescriptions from a hospital, were tested, and found to be HIV-negative, the DA said.
Hemrajani faces up to 15 years prison if convicted of the thefts, which prosecutors say happened in 2008 and 2009.