Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Health Care: Pennsylvania Physician Pleads Guilty to Fraud Charges

A Lancaster County physician, Saroj K. Parida, has pleaded guilty in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, located in Harrisburg, to bilking public and private health insurers out of $8 million. Parida pleaded guilty to health care fraud and mail fraud charges. He is awaiting sentencing.

Parida and the federal prosecutors entered into a plea agreement. The terms of the agreement call for the recommendation of a sentence of eight years incarceration. The plea agreement is not binding on the court. As a general rule, if the probation department agrees with the sentencing rationale of the plea agreement, the court will impose the agreed upon plea.

Parida also agreed to the payment of $7.1 million in restitution to several insurers. The insurers included Medicaid and private insurance companies. Thus far, Parida has turned over $959,000. Additionally, the plea agreement called for Parida to forfeit $5.7 million that the government seized from Parida's bank and investment accounts. The forfeiture will count towards the restitution order.

The government alleged that Parida was submitting bills to the insurance companies for work that he was not performing. The government claims that the locations of Parida's fraud scheme were Cumberland and Lancaster counties in Pennsylvania and in the state of South Carolina.

For more information about the case, please see The Reading Eagle, February 2, 2010, http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=192174.

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