Local Doctor Charged in Superseding Indictment with Health Care Fraud
BUFFALO, NY—U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that a federal grand jury has returned a 13 count superseding indictment charging Sreekrishna M. Cheruvu, M.D., 58, of East Amherst, NY, with health care fraud and submitting false statements relating to health care matters. The charges carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Assistant U.S. Attorney MaryEllen Kresse, who is handling the case, stated that according to the indictment, the defendant treated patients for opioid addiction at his office in Williamsville, NY. Between January 2009 and May 2014, Cheruvu submitted false and fraudulent claims to private insurance companies seeking reimbursement for services allegedly provided. Claims submitted by the defendant included reimbursement for individual counseling sessions when patients were actually seen in a group therapy setting, and reimbursement for services Cheruvu allegedly provided while he was, in fact, out of the country. The defendant is also accused of seeking payments for office visits of family members of patients who in reality where not his patients.
According to the superseding indictment, the defendant submitted false and fraudulent claims for payment to HealthNow, Independent Health and Univera totaling approximately $800,000.
The superseding indictment is the result of an investigation on the part of Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.