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On December 14, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York and other agencies announced the indictment of Niranjan Mittal, a Brooklyn cardiologist, on multiple fraud charges. Mittal allegedly fabricated patient records, paid physicians for patient referrals, and billed for medically unnecessary procedures. The U.S. Attorney’s Office also filed a civil fraud complaint under the False Claims Act seeking to recover treble damages and civil penalties against Mittal, the manager of his medical practice, and affiliated entities.

The indictment alleges that Mittal induced other providers to refer patients to his clinic by entering into bogus leases for space at those providers’ offices. However, the terms of the leases rarely coincided with the timing and amounts of the payments Mittal made to the providers. His staff would travel to the providers’ offices, perform tests on the referred patients, and convince the patients to attend follow-up appointments at his clinic.

Once at the clinic, patients were subjected to unnecessary tests and their records were falsified to support the billings. Mittal and his entities billed Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurers over $100 million for vascular procedures. They also billed the federal programs for medically unnecessary cardiac diagnostic imaging studies, including PET scans, stress tests and echocardiograms, and his staff prepared fabricated medical records to justify performing these tests. 

Mittal is charged with numerous counts, including conspiracy to commit health care fraud and wire fraud, and violations of the federal Anti-Kickback Statute. If found guilty, he potentially faces more than 20 years in prison.

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