Lankan doc pleads guilty in US healthcare scam

A Sri Lanka-born doctor based in the US has pleaded guilty for his role in a scam that defrauded US healthcare programmes of millions of dollars.

Dr. Rudra Sabaratnam, a former chief executive officer of the City of Angels Medical Center, in Los Angeles, California, has pleaded guilty to two counts of paying for illegal patient referrals in a scheme that billed government programmes for unnecessary care given to homeless people. Sabaratnam entered his pleas on December 12.

As reported in CEOWORLD Magazine, the 64-year-old doctor has been accused of doling out nearly US$500,000 to recruit homeless people to receive unnecessary treatments that the hospital billed to public health programmes.

On August 6, Rudra Sabaratnam was arrested with one other person who operated a health centre on LA’s Skid Row.

The charges to which Sabaratnam has pleaded guilty carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison. Sabaratnam has agreed to pay more than US$4.1 million in restitution to Medicare and Medi-Cal. He has been ordered to appear for sentencing on June 8, 2009. Sabaratnam’s arrest is part of an investigation that began in 2006.

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