A federal jury in Texas convicted a 50-year-old Indian-American internal medicine doctor and 47-year-old hospital owner of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, 17 counts of health care fraud and three counts of money laundering.
The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Texas, Ryan K. Patrick announced Feb. 22, that the jury deliberated for less than four hours following a two-week trial before convicting Dr. Harcharan Narang and Dayakar Moparty. Narang owned and practiced at North Cypress Clinical Associates, and Moparty managed and operated Red Oak Hospital.
Narang and Moparty face up 10 years in federal prison for each count of health care fraud and up to 20 years for each count of money laundering. Narang and Moparty were permitted to remain on bond with an ankle monitor pending their sentencing hearing, set for June 20, 2019, before U.S. District Judge Sim Lake.
During trial, the jury heard evidence that Narang and Moparty profited from submitting false and fraudulent claims for medical tests that were not medically necessary, not provided or both, and then billed at Red Oak Hospital at a higher reimbursement rate, the press release said.
Prosecutors proved that Narang and his co-conspirators also falsified home health patient assessment form documents to make the beneficiaries appear sicker on paper to receive higher reimbursement rates from health care benefit programs such as Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna and Aetna. Moparty also instructed his employees to falsely bill the medical services at Red Oak Hospital and other entities associated with him, when in fact, the patients never received services from Red Oak and the other entities, the press release noted.
Patients who testified at the trial said that they had merely gone for weight loss shots. However, after meeting with Narang, they all received the same battery of medical tests that were not needed or provided. Health care benefit programs paid Red Oak Hospital approximately $3.2 million. Moparty then covertly paid Narang approximately $3 million to various corporate entities Narang owned, the press release said.
Narang and Moparty’s co-conspirator, Dr. Gurnaib Sidhu, 67, of Houston, had previously pleaded to conspiracy to commit to health care fraud and is awaiting sentencing.