I-Team: Doctor Accused of Medical Fraud Defends Himself
Dr. Mahesh Kuthuru
Dr. Mahesh Kuthuru's New York office.
LAS VEGAS -- One Las Vegas doctor faces life in prison. He's accused by the feds of illegal drug sales, but the doctor says there has been a mistake.
The I-Team first reported that Doctor Mahesh Kuthuru was arrested at his Henderson home Feb. 28. The doctor, who is now out of federal custody, says all 45 counts of health care fraud and drug distribution are false and claims he's got the records to prove it.
When Dr. Kuthuru set up Desert Pain Management on Charleston Boulevard in 2009, he didn't think legal baggage from his old clinic in New York state would follow him.
"They point their guns at me through the window. They had me open the doors. They never showed me a search warrant. They searched the house," said Dr. Kuthuru as he recalls the recent police raid at his Henderson home.
The doctor is the focus of a federal indictment. He's accused of hatching a scheme with his medical biller to defraud Medicare while handing out powerful painkilling drugs. The doctor says the feds are after him over his employee typing in the wrong billing codes.
"She made the mistake, not me. I don't have much billing knowledge. I'm a physician. I try to take care of my patients," he said.
The federal indictment also accuses Dr. Kuthuru of keeping his New York office open without any medical professionals actually working inside. He says two licensed providers were always at his clinic.
"The government was saying there was no licensed providers there. This PA and physician are licensed providers," he said.
Dr. Kuthuru leaves for New York on Wednesday to face federal arraignment. Combined, the charges he faces add up to a maximum total of 600 years in prison. Even if he beats the charges, Dr. Kuthuru believes his medical career is over.
"This is going to follow me the rest of my life. My life is effectively finished," he said. "It makes me feel very sad. I've done nothing wrong."
Dr. Kuthuru is not charged with anything having to do with his Las Vegas medical practice. The I-Team did find that he's been prescribing many of the same drugs in Las Vegas as he did in New York. According to a list put together by the investigative journalist group Pro Publica, in 2011, Dr. Kuthuru prescribed more than $281,000 worth of pills, mostly oxycodone.
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