Man Pleads Guilty to Health Care Fraud and Issuing Illegal Prescriptions for Controlled Substances
SYRACUSE, NY—United States Attorney Richard S. Hartunian announced today that a physician who formerly ran offices in Central New York has pled guilty to health care fraud and issuing illegal prescriptions for controlled substances.
MAHESH KUTHURU, M.D., age 44, formerly of Baldwinsville, pled guilty to defrauding Medicare from approximately January 2010 through September 2011 in the course of his practice at Upstate Pain Management, with offices at 59 South First Street, Fulton, New York and 287 Genesee Street, Utica. KUTHURU admitted that he submitted bills to Medicare which falsely reflected that he had personally provided or directly supervised other licensed medical personnel providing treatment or services to patients in the Fulton and Utica offices of Upstate Pain Management. In fact, KUTHURU did not personally provide those services because he was either outside the country or in Las Vegas, Nevada where he operated another medical office known as Dessert Pain Management. As a result of the false claims submitted to Medicare by KUTHURU’s New York practice, Medicare paid and KUTHURU received approximately $82,986 to which he was not entitled. In addition, KUTHURU pled guilty to illegally issuing prescriptions for controlled substances from his New York practice. KUTHURU admitted that when he was not in his New York offices, clerical staff in those offices would partially fill out prescription forms for established patients in advance of the patient’s office visit. Those prescription forms would then be sent to KUTHURU in Las Vegas where he would sign the undated forms and return them to the clerical staff in New York. The clerical staff would then date the prescription form and give it to the patient on the day the patient visited the office. On other occasions, KUTHURU signed blank, undated prescription forms and left them in his New York offices for issuance to patients there when he was in Las Vegas.
KUTHURU faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years and a fine of $250,000 on the health care fraud charge and a one year term of imprisonment and a $100,000 fine on the unlawful dispensation of controlled substance prescription charge.
United States District Court Judge David N. Hurd scheduled sentencing for May 22, 2015 at Noon in Utica.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the New York Department of Health, Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement, the Health and Human Services Department, the Worker’s Compensation Board, Office of Inspector General, Excellus Special Investigations Unit, Safeguard Services and MVP Health Care, Special Investigations Unit. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Edward R. Broton.