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Houston man admits guilt in $5 million Medicare fraud scheme

Cases involving Medicare fraud continue to occur, and many often involve years of alleged misbehavior. Take for instance the recent case of a Houston man. In early May, Ravinder Syal, 57, pleaded guilty to federal charges in a nearly $5 million health care fraud scheme, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Texas.

During a two-year period that lasted through March of this year, Syal falsely billed for medical services never provided to patients, defrauding Medicare, Medicaid and several insurance companies. Syal was able to acquire physician practices throughout the state, allowing him to take control of their billing departments. He altered billing information and included fraudulent services unbeknownst to the physicians at each of the practices.

Used India-based company as front

After purchasing an India-based company and using it as a front, Syal billed $4.9 million in false health care claims to Medicare, Medicaid and a number of insurance companies. He submitted claims for services never provided as well as for clinical office visits during the holidays when such facilities were closed.

He even billed for services the clinics were unable to perform because they did not have the equipment. In addition, Syal received overpayments worth $553,000. He is scheduled for sentencing on Aug. 10 and faces up to 10 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000.

Such cases spotlight the seriousness of Medicare fraud along with the penalties faced by the accused.

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