NORWALK, Conn. — A federal grand jury handed down an indictment on two doctors who practiced medicine at an urgent care facility in Norwalk, charging them with narcotics distribution, health care fraud and money-laundering offenses and spelling out their years-long practice of writing narcotics prescriptions for cash.
The indictments against Dr. Bharat Patel, 70, of Milford, and Dr. Ramil Mansourov, 47, of Darien, were announced Wednesday by U.S. Attorney for Connecticut Deirdre Daly.
Patel was arrested and detained on a federal criminal complaint July 12. Mansourov was apprehended by the Canada Border Services Agency as he fled the U.S. on July 13 and remains detained in Canada.
The two doctors accused of running a "pill mill" operated out of Family Health Urgent Care, at 235 Main St. in Norwalk, which was formerly known as Immediate Health Care.
Beginning in 2013, the Drug Enforcement Administration received information that Patel and Mansourov were writing prescriptions for controlled substances, including oxycodone and hydrocodone, outside the scope of legitimate medical practice.
Patel regularly provided prescriptions for narcotics to patients who he knew were addicted or had been arrested for distributing or possessing controlled substances, prosecutors said.
On numerous occasions, he provided prescriptions to patients who paid him $100 in cash for each prescription. Patel sometimes wrote prescriptions for individuals who were not his patients in exchange for cash, prosecutors said.
When Patel was not available, Mansourov provided Patel's patients with prescriptions. Patel and Mansourov also provided post-dated prescriptions to individuals, prosecutors said.
Some 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 home.
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 out of state.
Also, Mansourov moved some of the stolen funds to a bank account in Switzerland.
The five-count indictment charges Patel and Mansourov with one count of conspiracy to distribute oxycodone and hydrocodone, which carries a maximum of 20 years in prison, and one count health care fraud, which carries a maximum of 10 years in prison. The indictment also charges Mansourov with two counts and Patel with one count of money laundering, which carries a possible term of 20 years in prison.
The indictment also seeks the forfeiture of Patel's Milford residence, Mansourov's Darien residence, $16,521.25 seized from a safe deposit box rented by Patel, and money judgments equal to the proceeds of Patel and Mansourov's alleged criminal conduct.
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