Physician sentenced to prison for role in $30M billing fraud scheme

A physician was sentenced to 18 months in prison Aug. 1 for his role in a $30 million scheme to defraud Medicare and New York's Medicaid program, according to the Department of Justice.

The sentencing came after Mustak Vaid, MD, previously pleaded guilty to healthcare fraud, conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud, mail fraud and wire fraud. He posed as the owner of a medical clinic in Brooklyn and falsely claimed that he examined and treated hundreds of patients, according to court documents and statements made during his plea proceeding and sentencing.

Between 2007 and 2013, Aleksandr Burman owned and operated six medical clinics in Brooklyn. New York law requires medical clinics to be owned and operated by a medical professional, but Mr. Burman circumvented this requirement by hiring physicians, including Dr. Vaid, to pose as the owners. Dr. Vaid signed documents falsely representing to banks, Medicare, Medicaid and others that he was the sole owner of Ocean Side Medical of Brooklyn, according to the DOJ.

Mr. Burman and his co-conspirators used the six medical clinics to submit $30 million in fraudulent claims to Medicare and Medicaid. Dr. Vaid participated in the scheme by signing medical charts falsely stating he examined patients and by writing prescriptions and referrals for medically unnecessary tests and supplies, according to the DOJ.

Dr. Vaid is the seventh defendant to be sentenced after pleading guilty in the case and a related case. In May 2017, Mr. Burman was sentenced to 10 years in prison for his involvement in the scheme.

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