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Maryland doctor sentenced for insurance fraud ordered to repay $3.1 million

Paramjit Singh Ajrawat performed less expensive procedures but falsely billed for procedures that provided higher reimbursement amounts.

Susan Morse, Managing Editor

Physician and pain clinic owner Paramjit Singh Ajrawat, 60, of Potomac, Maryland, has been ordered to repay $3.1 million from a healthcare fraud scheme in which he filed fake insurance claims, according to the U.S. District Attorney's Office in Maryland.

Ajrawat and his wife owned and operated Washington Pain Management Center in Greenbelt, according to authorities.

In September 2015, a federal jury convicted Ajrawat and his wife and clinic co-owner, Sukhveen Kaur Ajrawat, 57, also a medical doctor, authorities said.  The government moved to dismiss the charges against Sukhveen Ajrawat after her death on February 1, 2016.

[Also: Running list of notable 2016 healthcare frauds]

From 2011 to 2014, the Ajrawats defrauded federal health benefit programs including Medicare, Medicaid, TRICARE, Federal Employees Health Benefits Program and the Office of Workers' Compensation Programs, according to evidence presented during an eight-day trial.

The Ajrawats performed less expensive procedures but falsely billed for procedures that provided higher reimbursement amounts, the U.S. Attorney's Office said. They also submitted claims for procedures that had not been performed at all. 

For example, the Ajrawats submitted claims that they had performed nerve block injections with the use of an imaging guidance machine, but they neither owned nor used such a machine, authorities said.

The Ajrawats also falsely documented patient files to indicate that an imaging guidance machine had been used to verify needle placement and then caused the alteration or destruction of the files to conceal the scheme from auditors and law enforcement, they said.

Ajrawat was sentenced Monday to 111 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release for healthcare fraud, two counts of making a false statement related to a health care program, one count of obstruction of justice, four counts of wire fraud, and one count of aggravated identity theft related to a healthcare fraud.

"This lengthy sentence sends a powerful message that doctors who defraud health insurance programs will be held accountable," said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein.

Twitter: @SusanJMorse