CHICAGO —(ENEWSPF)—April 30, 2018
By: Rosemary Piser
Dr. Pranav Patel, 51, a physician and owner of Palos Medical Care, S.C., in Palos Heights, was indicted on federal fraud charges for allegedly pocketing nearly $1 million in payments from Medicare and a private insurer for nonexistent treatment.
The 12-count indictment alleges that Dr. Patel submitted fraudulent claims for medical tests and examinations that were never performed. He allegedly used some of his patients’ names without their knowledge to submit fraudulent claims. From 2008 to 2013, Dr. Patel fraudulently obtained, or caused his clinic to obtain, at least $950,000 in payments from Medicare and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, the indictment states.
The indictment, which was returned last week in U.S. District Court in Chicago, Dr. Patel with seven counts of health care fraud, three counts of making false statements in relation to a health care matter, and two counts of aggravated identity theft. Arraignment is set for May 15, 2018, at 8:45 a.m., before U.S. District Judge Amy J. St. Eve.
The public is reminded that an indictment is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Aggravated identity theft is punishable by a mandatory sentence of two years in prison. Health care fraud is punishable by up to ten years, while false statements carry a maximum of five years. If convicted, the Court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal statutes and the advisory United States Sentencing Guidelines.