Physician and Employee of a Former Utica- and Fulton-Area Medical Practice Indicted
|U.S. Attorney’s Office February 28, 2014|
SYRACUSE, NY—United States Attorney Richard S. Hartunian announced the indictment of a physician and employee of a former Utica- and Fulton-area medical practice.
Mahesh Kuthuru, M.D., age 43, and Bonnie Meislin, age 42, were indicted by a federal grand jury in Syracuse on February 26, 2014. Kuthuru owned and operated Upstate Pain Management, which had medical offices at 59 South First Street, Fulton, New York, and 287 Genesee Street, Utica, New York. Bonnie Meislin was an employee of Upstate Pain Management. The indictment charges Meislin and Kuthuru with engaging in a scheme to defraud Medicare by submitting claims for reimbursement that falsely represented that Dr. Kuthuru had performed medical services when in fact he had not. According to the indictment, Kuthuru purchased a medical practice in Las Vegas, Nevada, known as Desert Pain Management in November 2008. In July 2009, Kuthuru sold his home in Baldwinsville and purchased a home in Las Vegas. By January 2010 through at least September 2011, Kuthuru was spending the majority of his time at his Las Vegas medical practice, coming back to the Utica and Fulton offices to treat patients only a sporadic basis. The indictment further charges that from January 2010 through September 2011, there were substantial periods of time when there were no licensed medical personnel whatsoever in the Utica and Fulton offices and that patients there were seen only by unlicensed staff members who had received no formal medical training.
The indictment further charges Kuthuru with unlawful distribution of Schedule II controlled substances including oxycodone, Oxycotin, methadone, and morphine sulphate.
Meislin had earlier been indicted on January 8 on charges of health care fraud. The recent indictment further specifies the nature of those charges. Kuthuru was arrested in Las Vegas on February 28. He is scheduled to appear for arraignment before United States Magistrate Judge Therese Wiley Dancks in Syracuse on March 12, 2014, at 2:00 p.m.
Each of the 30 health fraud counts carries a maximum penalty of 10 years’ imprisonment and a fine of $250,000. Each of the 15 counts of drug distribution carries a maximum penalty of 20 years’ imprisonment with a fine of $1,000,000.
The case was a joint investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the New York State Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement, United States Department of Health and Human Services, New York State Worker’s Compensation Board, Safeguard Services, and Excellus Blue Cross & Blue Shield Special Investigations. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Edward R. Broton.
The indictment merely sets forth an accusation, and the defendants are presumed innocent until the charges are proved beyond a reasonable doubt.