An eye doctor from Westchester who had practices throughout the Hudson Valley and Fairfield County who was previously charged with healthcare fraud is facing new charges for allegedly attempting to exploit the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.
Ameet Goyal, 57, of Rye, who operates The Eye Associates Group, with practices in Rye, Mount Kisco, Wappingers Falls, and Greenwich, was arrested and charged by federal officials for allegedly fraudulently billing patients last year.
According to U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss, Goyal is now being charged with fraudulently obtaining government-guaranteed loans intended to help small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic while he was out on pretrial release.
Due to his pending criminal charges, Goyal's ophthalmology practice was not eligible for the government's Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which was designed to offer financial relief to small businesses during the pandemic.
It is alleged that In April, to gain access to PPP funding, Goyal falsely represented on two separate applications to the U.S. Small Business Administration and a Manhattan bank that he was not subject to any pending indictment.
Goyal also circumvented a condition of the PPP by applying for two loans with different business names, email addresses, business identification numbers, and loan amounts.
As part of the scheme, Goyal obtained two PPP loans for more than $630,000.
Goyal is now charged with:
- Healthcare fraud;
- Wire fraud;
- Making false statements relating to health care matters;
- Bank fraud;
- Making false statements on a loan application;
- Making false statements in a matter within the jurisdiction of the executive branch of the Government of the United States.
Goyal is scheduled to be arraigned in White Plains federal court on Friday, June 26. If convicted, he faces decades in prison, plus additional time for committing the latter violations while on pretrial release.
"While already facing charges for allegedly defrauding patients and insurers of millions of dollars, Goyal allegedly used his practice to commit a new fraud in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic," Strauss stated.
"As alleged, Goyal blatantly lied on multiple loan applications that he was not subject to any indictment, and on top of that, fraudulently double-dipped into the limited assets of the Paycheck Protection Program by pretending to apply on behalf of two separate businesses," she added. "In so doing, Goyal allegedly looted over $630,000 in federal funds earmarked for legitimate small businesses in dire financial straits.”
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