Medical Billing Manager Sentenced in Health Care Fraud Case
SYRACUSE, NY—Bonnie Meislin, 43, of Utica, was sentenced to fifteen months’ imprisonment to be followed by three years of supervised release, a fine of $2,400.00 and restitution to Medicare of $84,265.11 following her convictions for health care fraud and conspiracy, announced United States Attorney Richard S. Hartunian.
Meislin was employed as the billing manager for Upstate Pain Medicine, a medical practice owned by Mahesh Kuthuru, M.D, with offices in Fulton and Utica, New York. Following a six day trial in February 2015, Meislin was found guilty on 23 counts of health care fraud and 1 count of conspiring with Kuthuru to send false and fraudulent billings to Medicare. Evidence at trial showed that in 2009, Dr. Kuthuru moved to Las Vegas where he opened a medical practice known as Desert Pain Management. Thereafter, Kuthuru began to spend the majority of his time in Las Vegas, returning to his Utica and Fulton offices only sporadically. From January 2010 through September 2011, Meislin and Kuthuru submitted false and fraudulent bills to Medicare which indicated that Kuthuru or another medical professional under his direct supervision had treated patients in the New York offices, when Kuthuru had not done so.
Mahesh Kuthuru, M.D. pled guilty to health care fraud and illegal distribution of prescriptions on January 22, 2015. He was sentenced on May 22, 2015 to serve 18 months’ imprisonment, three years of supervised release and restitution of $84,265.11 to Medicare.
“Protecting the integrity of the nation’s health care system by aggressively prosecuting those who defraud it is a high priority for my office. We will continue to pursue investigations and bring charges against people who prey upon the funds and procedures designed to serve patients and enhance the delivery of services by medical professionals,” said United States Attorney Richard S. Hartunian.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), the Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”), 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.