Doctor with Ocean Springs connection gets 4 years in health care fraud scheme

HATTIESBURG, Mississippi — A federal choose has sentenced a Mississippi physician to 4 years in jail for his function in a health care fraud scheme.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office stated Tuesday that U.S. District Judge Keith Starrett handed down the sentence in opposition to Dr. Shahjahan Sultan, 38, of Madison, and ordered him to pay restitution of $4.1 million to Express Scripts, $582,280 to CVS Caremark and $115,611 to Catamaran.

A $2.three million cash judgment additionally was imposed in opposition to Sultan, who previously practiced in Vicksburg. According to Sultan’s legal professional, former state Supreme Court Justice Chuck McRae, at the very least $4 million has already been repaid.

Sultan at one time occupied workplace house in the Ritchey Building on Government Street in downtown Ocean Springs. His dealings with the previous The Gardens Pharmacy prompted FBI brokers to raid Lovelace Drugs final May looking for paperwork associated to Sultan. Lovelace, now closed, had beforehand operated as The Gardens.

News retailers reported that Sultan pleaded responsible in November to conspiracy to commit health care fraud after he and co-conspirators had been accused in a 15-count indictment of prescribing hundreds of thousands of of pointless compound ache lotions and weight-loss tablets to sufferers for reimbursement from May 2014 to January 2015. The court docket held Sultan accountable for $eight million in supposed losses to health care suppliers.

Sultan apologized in the course of the sentencing listening to.

“I was an idiot, pardon my harsh language,” he stated. “This has been a monkey on my back. I want this all to go away, but it never goes away.”

Sultan additionally warned different younger medical doctors to not fall for one thing that sounds too good to be true.

“I lost just about everything,” he stated. “But I’m not the victim here. Thinking that you’re part of the problem — it’s a hard pill to swallow.”

Prosecutors stated Sultan entered right into a contract with a Jackson County pharmacy in May 2014 to prescribe people costly compound medicines. In return, the pharmacy would pay Sultan 35% of the reimbursements it obtained after billing health care suppliers for the prescriptions Sultan wrote, in line with the authorities.

Sultan employed others to establish folks in locations like Jones County whose insurance coverage lined the medicines. The physician met with these folks over video-chat periods however didn’t carry out thorough examinations or decide the medical necessity of the compound medicines he prescribed. Prosecutors stated Sultan was conscious that some added substances to the medicines he prescribed weren’t efficient and had been launched for the aim of accelerating the reimbursement worth. He was additionally accused of calling in compound medicines for folks he had not examined.

A Tennessee physician, Thomas Edward Sturdavant, 56, and two Mississippi registered nurses, Freda Covington, 54, of Hattiesburg, and Fallon Page, 36, of Soso, had been indicted with Sultan.

Sturdavant and Covington every pleaded responsible to conspiracy to commit health care fraud. Sturdavant is scheduled to be sentenced on June 22, whereas Covington’s sentence is about for June 24. Page pleaded responsible to mail fraud and sentencing is about for July 7.

The Mississippi Press’ Warren Kulo contributed to this report.

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