Former Amherst, N.Y., pain doctor pleads guilty to fraud

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Dr. Gautam Arora, 44, formerly of Buffalo, N.Y., pleaded guilty Jan. 27, 2021, before U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. Vilardo to unlawfully acquiring controlled prescriptions by misrepresentation and fraud, and scheming to defraud a health care benefit program.

The charges carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, and a $250,000 fine, according to a press release from the office of the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of New York James P. Kennedy, Jr.

The guilty plea is the result of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Stephen.

Sentencing is scheduled for June 18, 2021, at 9:30 a.m. before Judge Vilardo.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Joel L. Violanti, who is handling the case, said in the press release that between April 2013, and May 2017, Arora, while working as the pain management doctor at the Hens Pain Center in Amherst, NY,  prescribed opioids to multiple patients outside the usual course of professional practice and without a legitimate medical purpose.

These opioids included hydrocodone, oxycodone, dextroamphetamine-amphetamine, and carisoprodol.

Arora wrote approximately 61 prescriptions for controlled substances to individuals who were either not his patients, or without first conducting a proper examination, verifying their medical condition, and assessing the risk of abuse by the individual patient, according to the press release.

In addition, between January 1 and March 31, 2016, the Arora  fraudulently billed Medicare for patient office visits totaling $92,209.50. Arora requested and received payment for medical services he did not perform or did not perform to the extent represented, the press release detailed.

 

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