Dr. Paresh Patel, an Indian-American physician of internal medicine practicing in Jamesburg, New Jersey, was sentenced June 8, to twelve months in prison for accepting bribes in exchange for patient referrals to a mobile diagnostic company.
Patel, 55, of Franklin Township, New Jersey, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Mary L. Cooper to an information charging him with violating the Anti-Kickback Statute. Judge Cooper imposed the sentence in Trenton federal court.
From September 2009 through December 2013, Paresh Patel accepted more than $174,000 in bribes for referring his patients to the Morris County-based mobile diagnostic testing company, Biosound Medical Services, according to prosecutors. Biosound was operated by Nita K. Patel and Kirtish N. Patel. As part of the bribes, Biosound Medical Services paid Paresh Patel’s property tax obligations and home renovation expenses. In addition to the prison term, Paresh Patel was also ordered to pay a $6,000 fine. He has also forfeited more than $174,000 he received as part of the bribery scheme.
Nita K. Patel and Kirtish N. Patel, pleaded guilty in November 2015, to health care fraud for forging physician signatures on diagnostic reports that were never reviewed by a specialist physician and were actually authored by Kirtish N. Patel, who did not have a medical license. Both await sentencing, a press release from U.S. Attorney for New Jersey Paul J. Fishman, said.
Fishman is credited with reorganizing the health care fraud practice shortly after taking office, creating a stand-alone Health Care and Government Fraud Unit to handle both criminal and civil investigations and prosecutions of health care fraud offenses. Since 2010, the office says it has recovered more than $1.29 billion in health care fraud and government fraud settlements, judgments, fines, restitution and forfeiture under the False Claims Act, the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act and other statutes.