Michael Jacarrino and Melissa Grace, NY Daily News, June 3, 2011
A Washington Heights doctor was busted in a $700,000 Medicaid scam for prescribing HIV drugs to a stunning 150 patients who did not have the virus–and billing the public health system for their care, prosecutors said.
Suresh Hemrajani, 57, pleaded not guilty to grand larceny and health care fraud Friday and posted $200,000 bond after appearing before Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Carol Berkman.
The charges against Hemrajani followed the indictment of 30 people, all poor Medicaid patients who were recruited off the streets by middlemen, “sometimes 10 at a time,” according to court records.
Hemrajani, who lives in a $610,000 White Plains home, was arrested after prosecutors won convictions against 17 of the patients–even securing state prison sentences against some. Many of them are cooperating in the probe, sources said.
Officials said the recruited patients were brought to the doctor’s office where Hemrajani wrote them prescriptions for HIV meds without even conducting an exam.
The patients, who used Medicaid to pay for the prescriptions, were paid cash for the meds by a middleman, who in turn sold the drugs on the black market.