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Just Trying to Get By

Medicare enrollment form and glasses
Senior Director of Strategic Alliances
LexisNexis Risk Solutions - Government

Criminals commit fraud for a variety of reasons. Some want to live a lavish lifestyle, while others are trying to make ends meet and they figure a little fraud here and there wouldn’t hurt anyone. Dr. Ravi Murali, 39, formerly of Edgerton, Wisc., said he committed Medicare fraud because he was “just trying to get by.”

Dr. Murali was sentenced to 54 months in federal prison for writing thousands of orders for Durable Medical Equipment (DME). Between January 2017 and January 2020, Murali was working as a physician for multiple telemedicine companies. He signed off on orders for medical braces for ankles, knees, backs, wrists, and hands for Medicare beneficiaries. (These orders were totally unnecessary.)

Murali admitted in court that he prescribed the braces without examining or calling his patients. (Imagine his patients’ surprise when they received their braces.) He received a $30 kickback for each telemedicine consult he completed. (I’m pretty sure that he now knows that was a very bad idea.)

Other co-conspirators (meaning DME suppliers) in the Medicare fraud scheme used Dr. Mural’s bogus orders to bill Medicare $26,000,000. Medicare actually paid our $13,000,000. (That sounds more like extravagant living than just getting by.)

Apparently, this case is not the first time that Dr. Murali has been in trouble with the law. He has a history of dishonesty as he was previously disciplined by the Wisconsin Medical Examining Board. He created a fake diploma claiming he had completed residency. (So, he wasn’t even qualified to practice medicine or order DME in the first place. Nice.)

Due to the repeat fraudulent actions of this man, the judge emphasized that a severe sentence was necessary to prevent other providers from defrauding Medicare and other federal programs. Murali pleaded guilty to one of 12 counts he faced under his indictment. His 54-month prison sentence was a lot less than the 10 years he was facing when sentenced. (It’s a good guess that he provided a lot of helpful information to prosecutors who were looking to catch others involved in the scheme.)

Today’s Fraud of the Day comes from a Department of Justice press release, “Edgerton Doctor Sentenced to 54 Months for $13 Million Scheme to Defraud Medicare,” dated November 22, 2021.

MADISON, WIS. – Timothy M. O’Shea, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Dr. Ravi Murali, 39, formerly of Edgerton, Wisconsin, was sentenced today by Chief U.S. District Judge James D. Peterson to 54 months in federal prison for Dr. Murali’s role in a scheme to defraud Medicare.  Dr. Murali pleaded guilty to this charge on March 31, 2021.

Dr. Murali wrote thousands of fraudulent orders for Durable Medical Equipment (DME).  Other participants in the scheme used Dr. Murali’s fraudulent orders to bill Medicare $26,000,000 of which Medicare paid $13,000,000.

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