Quantcast

Norwalk doctors charged with operating a pill mill; one sued by state for ‘Medicaid fraud allegations’

Updated, 3:30 p.m., July 14: DSS is suing Dr. Ramil Mansourov.

This is a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, presented in the format in which it was sent:

 

Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, Michael J. Ferguson, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration for New England, today announced that two doctors who have operated a medical practice in Norwalk have been charged by federal criminal complaint with writing prescriptions outside the scope of legitimate medical practice, health care fraud and money laundering.

Dr. BHARAT PATEL, 70, of Milford, was arrested yesterday at his residence.  He appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge William I. Garfinkel in Bridgeport and is detained pending a detention hearing that is scheduled for July 17.

Dr. RAMIL MANSOUROV, 47, of Darien, is currently being sought by law enforcement.

As alleged in the criminal complaint, PATEL and MANSOUROV are physicians who operated out of Family Health Urgent Care, located at 235 Main Street in Norwalk.  The medical practice was formerly known as Immediate Health Care, which was owned by PATEL.  In approximately 2012, MANSOUROV purchased the practice from PATEL and renamed it Family Urgent Health Care, and PATEL continued to work at the practice.  PATEL and MANSOUROV are participating providers with Medicare and the Connecticut Medicaid Program.  Beginning in approximately 2013, the Drug Enforcement Administration received information that PATEL and MANSOUROV may be writing prescriptions for controlled substances outside the scope of legitimate medical practice.

The complaint alleges that PATEL regularly provided prescriptions for narcotics, including oxycodone and hydrocodone, to patients that he knew were addicted or had been arrested for distributing or possessing controlled substances.  On numerous occasions, PATEL provided prescriptions to patients who paid him $100 in cash for each prescription.  In certain instances, PATEL would write prescriptions for individuals who were not his patients in exchange for cash.  At times, when PATEL was not available, MANSOUROV provided PATEL’s patients with unnecessary prescriptions.  PATEL and MANSOUROV also regularly provided post-dated prescriptions to individuals, sometimes with dates that matched future dates when the doctors would be out of the country.

It is alleged that certain individuals who paid PATEL cash for prescriptions paid for the filled prescriptions by using a state Medicaid card, and then illegally distributed the drugs.  The investigation revealed that in 2014 alone, more than $50,000 in cash deposits were made into PATEL and his wife’s bank accounts, and that some of these funds were used to purchase PATEL’s current residence.

The complaint further alleges that between November 2013 and December 2016, MANSOUROV defrauded the state’s Medicaid program of more than $4 million by billing for home visits that he never made, billing for nursing home visits that he never made, billing for office visits that never happened, and billing for visits that he claimed took place on dates on which he was actually out of state or out of the country.  Billing records also reveal that, on some occasions, MANSOUROV and PATEL billed Medicaid for the same patient on the same day at two different locations.

It is alleged that MANSOUROV moved some of the stolen funds to a bank account in Switzerland.

“These two doctors are charged with violating their oaths and recklessly prescribing highly addictive painkillers,” said U.S. Attorney Daly.  “Dr. Patel is alleged to have regularly sold to addicts solely for his own profit.  Many of these patients filled the prescriptions using state healthcare benefits, and then turned around and sold the pills on the street, contributing to our devastating opioid epidemic.  Some addicts referred to these defendants’ medical practice as ‘The Candy Shop.’  Dr. Mansourov is also charged with bilking state and federal governments of over 4 million dollars through a phony billing scheme.  I thank the DEA’s Tactical Diversion Squad, the Norwalk Police Department and the Connecticut Attorney General’s Office for their excellent work in shuttering this medical practice.”

“The DEA is committed to enforcing the Controlled Substance Act (CSA) by ensuring that all registrants are in compliance and abide by DEA’s distribution regulations,” said Special Agent in Charge Ferguson.  “The reckless actions by these two doctors by writing prescriptions outside the scope of their legitimate medical practice contributed to the widespread abuse of opiates, which is a gateway to heroin addiction and is devastating our communities.  In response to the ongoing opioid epidemic DEA is committed to improve public safety and public health by working with our law enforcement and regulatory partners to ensure these rules and regulations are strictly followed.  This investigation demonstrates the strength of collaborative law enforcement in Connecticut and our great partnership with the U.S. Attorney’s Office.”

The complaint charges PATEL and MANSOUROV with conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute narcotics, an offense that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years; health care fraud, an offense that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years, and conspiracy to commit money laundering, an offense that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years.

U.S. Attorney Daly stressed that a complaint is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt.  Charges are only allegations, and each defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

This investigation is being conducted by the DEA’s New Haven Tactical Diversion Squad and the Norwalk Police Department, with the critical assistance of the Connecticut Office of the Attorney General.  The DEA Tactical Diversion Squad includes officers from the Bristol, Greenwich, Hamden, Milford, New Haven, Shelton, Vernon and Wilton Police Departments.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Rahul Kale.

 

‘State Initiates False Claims Act Lawsuit against Norwalk Family Practitioner over Medicaid Fraud Allegations’

This is a press release from the Connecticut Department of Social Services:

The state has initiated a False Claims Act lawsuit alleging that a Norwalk-based family practitioner engaged in a pervasive and illegal scheme to defraud Connecticut’s Medicaid program by submitting false claims for services never provided, Attorney General George Jepsen and state Department of Social Services (DSS) Commissioner Roderick L. Bremby said today.
The state alleges that, from November 2013 until at least October 2016, Dr. Ramil Mansourov and his company, Ramil Mansourov, LLC, billed Connecticut’s Medicaid program – the Connecticut Medical Assistance Program (CMAP) – for millions in services that were never provided to his Medicaid patients and further defrauded the program by falsifying his income information in order to obtain Medicaid benefits for himself and his children.
“The audacity of the alleged fraudulent conduct in this case is astounding,” said Attorney General Jepsen. “In one case, this provider billed Medicaid for at least 500 visits to a particular patient that never happened, receiving $80,000 in taxpayer dollars for services never rendered, and at the same time, sought to receive Medicaid benefits himself. This sort of egregious fraud will not be tolerated, and we will hold accountable those who seek to engage in this sort of conduct.”
Commissioner Bremby said, “Enforcement under the False Claims Act is joining criminal charges against this provider, who is accused of especially flagrant violations against the Medicaid program. While this scenario does not represent providers as a whole, it indicates the critical importance of state and federal anti-fraud investigations to uproot and take appropriate action against outliers. I join Attorney General Jepsen in thanking our state and federal partners and their dedicated staff for outstanding work with DSS staff in this and other cases where taxpayers’ interests must be protected.”
Today’s state False Claims Act enforcement action is made in coordination with federal criminal charges filed by the U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut. Dr. Mansourov has been charged by federal criminal complaint with federal money laundering charges related to the allegations of healthcare fraud and is currently being sought by law enforcement. The criminal charges are only allegations and not evidence of guilt; a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
The Office of the Attorney General commenced an investigation after a referral from the state Department of Public Health (DPH) in the spring of 2016. The investigation was conducted with the assistance of the DSS Office of Quality Assurance and in coordination with the Office of the Connecticut U. S. Attorney and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. DSS is the administering state agency for Connecticut’s Medicaid program.
Dr. Mansourov, a resident of Darien, is a licensed physician who operated a walk-in medical practice in Norwalk known as the Family Health Urgent Care Center, Inc. Through his billing company, Ramil Mansourov, LLC, Dr. Mansourov submitted claims to CMAP for services purportedly provided to Medicaid patients by both himself and other providers at the Family Health Urgent Care Center. All but a small fraction of these claims were for services purportedly provided by Dr. Mansourov.
The state alleges that Dr. Mansourov fabricated thousands of claims for services he purported to have provided but, in fact, never rendered. He claimed to have provided services not only at the Family Health Urgent Care Center, but also at patient residences and long-term care facilities in the state. During the relevant time period, the DSS reimbursed the defendants a total of at least $5.2 million for CMAP claims.
On many of the dates when services were purportedly rendered, the state alleges that Dr. Mansourov was actually working at various urgent care centers in Kentucky or was vacationing in Florida or out of the country. On other dates of service, the Medicaid recipients were in-patients admitted at acute care hospitals and, therefore, could not have been seen by Dr. Mansourov at his office, their residences or in long-term care facilities, the state alleges. In some instances, Dr. Mansourov billed Medicaid for hundreds of visits with particular Medicaid beneficiaries that simply did not happen, the state alleges, and the doctor provided falsified medical records to DSS auditors and investigators in an attempt to conceal the fraudulent activity.
The state has also alleged that Dr. Mansourov knowingly misrepresented his income – at a time when he was receiving millions in fraudulent CMAP reimbursements – on application forms to enroll himself and his two minor children as Medicaid beneficiaries, resulting in further false claims for reimbursement for their care through the CMAP.
The Attorney General and Commissioner Bremby thanked the DPH Facility Licensing & Investigation Section, U.S. Attorney Deirdre Daly and her staff and the DEA’s New Haven District Office Tactical Diversion Squad for their continued coordination on this matter.
Today’s action is part of a larger effort by the State of Connecticut’s Interagency Fraud Task Force, which was created in July 2013 to wage a coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute healthcare fraud directed at state healthcare and human service programs. The task force includes a number of Connecticut agencies and works with federal counterparts in the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the U.S. Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General – Office of Investigations. For more information, please visit www.fightfraud.ct.gov.
Anyone with knowledge of suspected fraud or abuse in the public healthcare system is asked to contact the Attorney General’s Antitrust and Government Program Fraud Department at 860-808-5040 or by email at [email protected]; the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit in the Office of the Chief State’s Attorney at 860-258-5986 or by email at [email protected]; or the Department of Social Services fraud reporting hotline at 1-800-842-2155, online at www.ct.gov/dss/reportingfraud, or by email to [email protected].
Forensic Fraud Examiner Kevin Jeffko, Legal Investigators Peter Harrington and Thomas Martin, Paralegal Holly MacDonald and Assistant Attorneys General Richard Porter and Michael Cole, chief of the Antitrust and Government Program Fraud Department, are assisting the Attorney General with this matter.

 
 
These press releases were posted as a public service. A press release is a written announcement submitted to news organizations to publicize an event or activity, a milestone or a point of view. NancyOnNorwalk has not researched the assertions made and takes no responsibility for the content. If you feel the content is inaccurate, email [email protected].

3 comments

John Levin July 14, 2017 at 7:06 am

So the Medicaid fraud has been going since at least 2013 and the pill mill since at least 2014. Wheels of justice turn slowly?

Christine M. July 14, 2017 at 9:19 am

“Wheels of justice turn slowly?” Well, look how long it took to close Nirvana on Main St…

Maria Alarcon July 14, 2017 at 12:22 pm

We finally have a DEA that is allowed to do their job.
THAT is the reason why you are seeing these things happening now…not because the wheels of justice turn slowly.
Same for ICE.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

About this site

NancyOnNorwwalk.com was conceived as the place to go for Norwalk residents to get the real, unvarnished story about what is going on in and around their city. NancyOnNorwalk does not intend to be a print newspaper online; rather, it exists to pull the curtain back and shine a spotlight on how Norwalk is run and what is happening regarding issues that have an impact on taxpayers’ pocketbooks and safety. As an independent site, NancyOnNorwalk’s first and only allegiance is to the reader.

About Nancy

Nancy came to Norwalk in September 2010 and, after reporting on Norwalk for two years for another company, resigned to begin Nancy On Norwalk so she engage in journalism the way it was meant to be done. She is married to career journalist Mark Chapman, has a son, Eric (the artist and web designer who built this website), and two cats – a middle-aged lady and a young hottie who are learning how to peacefully co-exist.