Fort Pierce, Florida – An Indian American doctor was recently sentenced to prison after having been convicted by a federal jury of committing repeated acts of health care fraud.
On February 15, 2019, 48 year old Sheetal Kanar Kumar, M.D., formerly of Stuart, Florida, was found guilty by a trial jury of committing 23 counts of health care fraud. US District Judge Kenneth A. Marra, sitting in Fort Pierce, Florida, sentenced Kumar to a total of 24 months in prison, to be followed by 2 years of supervised release.
Ariana Fajardo Orshan, US Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Shimon R. Richmond, Special Agent in Charge, US Department of Health & Human Services, Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG), Miami Regional Office, George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, and Ashley B. Moody, Florida Attorney General, made the announcement.
“No one has a license to defraud our health care system,” stated US Attorney Fajardo Orshan, adding, “Those individuals, like Dr. Kumar, who cast aside their professional responsibilities to pad their personal pockets with fraudulently obtained tax dollars will face serious consequences. We encourage the public to report suspected health care fraud to law enforcement. We must protect our vital healthcare programs from abuse.”
“Vulnerable patients sought out Dr. Kumar for critical medical treatment. Instead she was exploiting these individuals for personal gain,” said Shimon R. Richmond, Special Agent in Charge HHS-OIG. “We will continue to protect patients and federal healthcare programs by investigating individuals who seek to enrich themselves at the expense of beneficiaries and taxpayers.”
“The FBI and our partners devote vast resources to investigate, catch and prosecute those committing health care fraud,” said Justin E. Fleck, Assistant Special Agent in Charge, FBI Miami. “To those fraudsters still bilking the system to line their pockets with illicit cash, know that we are committed to rooting out this kind of fraud and reclaiming money that was dishonestly obtained.”
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “Make no mistake, health care fraud is a serious crime that steals tax dollars and increases insurance rates. The Florida Attorney General’s Office will continue to work with our federal partners to protect Florida’s health care market and arrest, prosecute and convict anyone trying to defraud Medicaid and Medicare.”
According to the court record, including evidence introduced at trial, Dr. Sheetal Kumar owned and operated the medical practice Advanced Healthcare for Women in Stuart, Florida. Dr. Kumar was an obstetrician and gynecologist who treated incontinence. From at least as early as January 2014, until July 2017, Dr. Kumar submitted or caused the fraudulent submissions of claims to Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance companies. The fraudulent claims sought money for specific health care benefits, items, and services that were not provided as billed. As a result of such false and fraudulent claims, Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance companies, made payments in the approximate amount of $637,000.
US Attorney Fajardo Orshan commended the investigative efforts of HHS-OIG, FBI and Florida Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit in this matter. This case was prosecuted by Assistant US Attorneys Daniel E. Funk and Diana M. Acosta.