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 veryhotthread  Author  Topic: Dr Arun & Kiran Sharma Baytown TX - A sad story  (Read 774 times)
Vijay Mehta
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xx Dr Arun & Kiran Sharma Baytown TX - A sad story
« Thread started on: Jun 26th, 2009, 08:17am »

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Indian-American couple charged with operating a pill mill
26 Jun 2009, 1126 hrs IST, IANS

WASHINGTON: An Indian American doctor couple working in the Houston area have been charged by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) with operating their pain management clinic as a pill mill.

Dr Arun Sharma and his wife, Dr Kiran Sharma, MD, both 54, are charged with conspiracy to commit health care fraud and conspiracy to unlawfully dispense and distribute controlled substances outside the scope of professional practice and not for a legitimate medical purpose, FBI said.

Dr Kiran Sharma was taken into federal custody Wednesday and will remain in custody pending her appearance before a US Magistrate Judge. A warrant remains outstanding for Dr Arun Sharma's arrest, according to the FBI.

According to the allegations in the criminal complaint, the Sharmas operate the Allergy, Asthma, Arthritis and Pain Centres in Webster and in Baytown, Texas.

Records obtained from the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) demonstrate that Dr Arun Sharma has allegedly prescribed 615,671 tablets of hydrocodone (Vicodan), 66,000 tablets of alprazolam (Xanax), and 26,000 tablets of diazepam (Valium) between Sep 1, 2008 and May 22, 2009, FBI said.

As a result of enforcement action conducted last week at the two pain clinics, the Sharma residence and two safe deposit boxes, $700,000 in cash was discovered at the Sharma residence, while $816,000 in cash was found in the two safe deposit boxes allegedly accessed only by Dr Kiran Sharma, FBI said.

The affidavit alleges that Dr Arun Sharma charged as much as $100 cash per hydrocodone prescription. A significant percentage of the $1.5 million in cash seized was in $20 dollar denominations and packaged in letter size envelopes, each secured with a rubber band and then placed in numerous plastic bags.

Dr Kiran Sharma, according to allegations in the complaint, handles all of the finances for the clinics including the incoming money and the payment of bills.

Both doctors were also charged in a conspiracy to defraud Medicare and Medicaid of more than $8.7 million for facet joint injections that were never performed. Facet joint injections are primarily diagnostic injections commonly used to determine what is causing back pain.

Both conspiracy to defraud Medicare and Medicaid and the conspiracy to unlawfully dispense and distribute controlled substances carry a penalty of five years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.

* Dr Arun Sharma
4721 Garth Rd
Allergy Asthma Arthritis Pain
Suite G
Baytown, TX 77521
*
617 Cole St
Allergy Asthma Arthritis & Pain
Webster, TX 77598
281-338-6509


Arun is a graduate of Jabalpur Medical College (1977), He has specialized in Internal Medicine and Rheumatolgy, he was trained at Worcester MA and Pittsfield MA. (1991)

Kiran is a graduate of Government Medical College, Jabalpur (1977) She completed her Internal Medicine residency at Pittsfield MA and Galveston TX She has specialized in Allergy and Immunology (1995).

« Last Edit: Feb 18th, 2011, 7:36pm by Vijay Mehta » User IP Logged

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xx News Release US Attorney's Office
« Reply #1 on: Jun 26th, 2009, 1:40pm »

http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/txs/releases/June%202009/062409Sharma.htm

June 24, 2009

HUSBAND AND WIFE DOCTORS CHARGED WITH OPERATING A PILL MILL

(HOUSTON) - Two Houston area doctors have been charged by criminal complaint for operating their pain management clinic as a pill mill, United States Attorney Tim Johnson, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, FBI acting Special Agent in Charge Russel Robinson, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agent in Charge Zoran B. Yankovich and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services - Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG) Assistant Special Agent in Charge Joseph Prekker announced today.

Dr. Arun Sharma and his wife, Dr. Kiran Sharma, M.D., both 54, are charged with conspiracy to commit health care fraud and conspiracy to unlawfully dispense and distribute controlled substances outside the scope of professional practice and not for a legitimate medical purpose. Dr. Kiran Sharma was taken into federal custody today and will remain in custody pending her appearance before a U.S. Magistrate Judge tomorrow. Her husband, Dr. Arun Sharma, is expected to surrender to federal authorities tomorrow. A warrant remains outstanding for his arrest.

According to the allegations in the criminal complaint filed today, the Sharmas operate the Allergy, Asthma, Arthritis and Pain Centers located at on Cole Street in Webster, Texas, and another on Garth Road in Baytown, Texas. Records obtained from the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) demonstrate that Dr. Arun Sharma has allegedly prescribed 615,671 tablets of hydrocodone (Vicodan), 66,000 tablets of alprazolam (Xanax), and 26,000 tablets of diazepam (Valium) between Sept. 1, 2008, to May 22, 2009.

The affidavit supporting the federal criminal complaint details some examples of Dr. Arun Sharma’s alleged prescription pattern. One patient, PP, received 92 hydrocodone prescriptions, totaling 8,040 tablets between September 2008 and April 2009. On seven occasions, PP received two prescriptions on the same day from Dr. Arum Sharma which were filled at two different pharmacies. A second patient, AP, who resides at the same address as patient PP, allegedly received 31 hydrocodone prescriptions, totaling 2,430 tablets, between September 2008 and April 2009 from Dr. Arun Sharma.

In yet another example alleged in the complaint, patients EZ and KZ, who reside together, each allegedly obtained prescriptions for almost 2000 tablets of hydrocodone from Dr. Arum Sharma between September 2008 and March 2009.

As a result of enforcement action conducted last week at the two pain clinics, the Sharma residence and two safe deposit boxes, $700,000 in cash was discovered at the Sharma residence, while $816,000 in cash was found in the two safe deposit boxes allegedly accessed only by Dr. Kiran Sharma. The affidavit alleges that Dr. Arun Sharma charged as much as $100 cash per hydrocodone prescription. A significant percentage of the $1.5 million in cash seized was in $20 dollar denominations and packaged in letter size envelopes, each secured with a rubber band and then placed in numerous plastic bags.

Dr. Kiran Sharma, according to allegations in the complaint, handles all of the finances for the clinics including the incoming money and the payment of bills.

Both doctors were also charged in a conspiracy to defraud Medicare and Medicaid of more than $8.7 million for facet joint injections that were never performed.

“The staggering dollar amount of the fraud alleged in just this one case should serve as an indicator to all of us that health care fraud poses a major threat to the soundness of our nation's economy, said Robinson. “The FBI, in conjunction with its federal, state and local partners, will continue to vigorously investigate the ‘pill mill’ clinics that generate income through the fraudulent billing of Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance. We encourage the public to report instances of health care fraud to their local FBI office."

The criminal charges are the result of a joint investigation being conducted by agents of the FBI, the DEA, HHS-OIG, and the Medicare Fraud Control Unit of the Texas Attorney General's Office in conjunction with the Webster, League City and Baytown Police Departments.

“Our office is committed to the relentless pursuit of those whose sole interest in health care is to raid the Medicare Trust Fund to satisfy their own greed, Prekker said.”

Conspiracy to defraud Medicare and Medicaid carries a penalty of five years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine and the conspiracy to unlawfully dispense and distribute controlled substances, outside the scope of professional practice and not for a legitimate medical purpose carries a penalty of five years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine. This case will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Albert Balboni.

An criminal complaint is an accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until convicted through due process of law.
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xx Dr Arun & Kiran Sharma Baytown a sad story
« Reply #2 on: Jul 1st, 2009, 10:12am »

http://www.39online.com/news/local/kiah-insurance-fraud-story,0,4296977.story

video of news
« Last Edit: Feb 18th, 2011, 7:36pm by Vijay Mehta » User IP Logged

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xx 1.6 Million in cash
« Reply #3 on: Jul 2nd, 2009, 11:19pm »

Feds: Health care fraud costs you billions
03:03 PM CDT on Thursday, July 2, 2009

http://www.khou.com/news/local/stories/khou090701_jj_health-care-fraud-costs-billions.26368d32.html


They say that they found another $750,000 in two safe deposit boxes.

The $1.5 million in mostly $20 bills allegedly belonged to Dr. Arun Sharma and his wife Dr. Kiran Sharma.

The doctors were charged with health care fraud and are now out on bond.

The FBI says that the amount of health care money stolen each year in this country is staggering.

They say that in 2007, Americans spent $2.24 trillion on health care. They estimate that up to 10 percent or $224 billion was lost due to fraud.

In Houston and around the country, joint task forces led by the FBI are targeting this type of criminal activity.

Federal, state, and local agencies worked together to check out claims of alleged “pill mill clinics” in Webster and Baytown.

Indictments were handed down in that case. Those documents state that the Sharma’s were seeing more than 70 patients a day, that they were prescribing narcotics to people who were profoundly addicted to drugs and they were allegedly threatening those individuals.

Authorities say that the Sharma’s wouldn’t give out prescriptions to patients unless they would fill out visit sheets which claimed they had visited the clinic on certain days even though they had not.

Investigators say that the fraudulent sheets allowed the Sharma’s to bill Medicare and Medicaid $8.7 million for injections that were never performed.

The indictment also states that the Sharms’s charged patients up to $100 in cash to get a prescriptions.

The federal government is taking steps to seize the Sharma’s home in Kemah which is allegedly purchased with your tax dollars.

FBI officials say they can’t comment on the Sharma case because it is still ongoing, but Special Agent Elvis McBride did say that health care fraud investigations like this one are paper intensive and take a lot of time.

“It takes time because a lot of times you have to request data from Medicare to see what the provider billed who they billed. You actually have to go out and talk with some of the Medicare beneficiaries,” said McBride.

Agent McBride insists the government is beefing up enforcement here in Houston around the country to fight this type of crime and he says everyone else can help too.

“I think you should treat your Medicare, Medicaid card as if it were your credit card. Because once they get your information they will pretty much bill just to dupe the system,” said McBride.

Locally, the task force is currently investigating nearly 100 cases.

One of the biggest probes involves Dyain and Tajuana Frazier.

The Fraziers have already been charged and are schedule to be in court next week.

The district attorney’s office says that the Fraziers, along with 11 other suspects, stole $6.1 million through illegal billing. More arrests are expected. Despite the charges, the Fraziers claim they are innocent.

The attorney general’s office says all suspects in this case billed the Texas Medicaid program for adult diapers, wheelchairs, and other medical supplies that were never delivered.

Anyone with information on health care fraud is urged to call the FBI Houston at (713) 693-5000.
« Last Edit: Jul 2nd, 2009, 11:20pm by Vijay Mehta » User IP Logged

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xx Re: Dr Arun & Kiran Sharma Baytown TX - Drug deal
« Reply #4 on: Jul 14th, 2009, 7:37pm »

WoW!! I gotta say, I'm so glad they got them. I went back in 1997 was my first experience. I am sick, very sick, but that was rediculous.... I sat in the waiting room.... no stood in the evening as late as 7:30 to see him. Of course I didn't know yet and was so niave. I have had to stand outside of the Webster clinic because it was so full!! I took the "tens unit", I got the "methotrexate shots" (which my doctor told me today is a cancer or chemo med!!) shocked I remember when I first went to him, he dispensed pills to me entirely too readily. Soma, Vicodin.... I couldn't stand it!! I was just constipated and I thought maybe things weren't right there.... So I stopped going.... years later, I was sick in the hospital without my own doctor (I have heart problems, diabetes, etc) and I guess he was the doctor on call. So I thought if he is a hospital physician.... and I don't think he was intended to be a "pain management" doctor while he was seeing me there.... I think he was my main doctor up there. So anyway, my insurance (through medicaid), offers three different insurance programs (well Evercare was supposedly shut down here in Texas at the beginning of the year). and he was one of the listed providers in all books, who was actually still in operation (wonder how long their name will show up in the book as a provider?) rolleyes So I ended up seeing him again for about a visit, maybe two, and guess what.... he tried to put me back om Soma, Vicodin..... When my doctor told me they had been arrested I was so thrilled because my friend, who introduced me to him in the first place, as it turned out does have a drug problem.... When I met her, she was in church with me.... eventually she fell away.... and I stopped seeing her after I tried to help her in so many ways so many times. Those many years later when I went back again, one day we both happened to see each other in the office.... she was emaciated and had lost her daughter who, was 2 back in 97. cry It hurt my heart so much that I could do nothing to help her... she was just the shell of the person she had been... and I loved her daughter (FK... her first and last initial [her mothers first initial N]) Know thatI have never stoped thinking of y'all and praying for you both! I'm so glad Dr. Sharma can't hurt anymore people!!
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xx Re: Dr Arun & Kiran Sharma Baytown TX - Drug deal
« Reply #5 on: Jul 14th, 2009, 8:02pm »

BTW (by the way).... I am about to be 43 and I have Fybromyalgia and RA (and still etc).... still I don't think I could stand to take the scrips he had me on.... I am now on lyrica and neurontin, at least I'm not loopy out of my mind, asleep all of the time or constiapted. I feel bad for those who have come to depend on these meds, but too many people (besides the Sharmas) were abusing the system so badly!! I still stand by my statements!! (and I've had open heart surgery, so even my chest bones ache from being broken). Because of this, even though my PCP has known me for awhile, even though he heard me say I left Sharma because I DON'T want to be on pain meds, my physician didn't even pay attention to me today when I told him how bad I am feeling.... lets see... I just got out of ICU last week with the diagnosis being "heart failure" and "coping with pain" and I have 9 people currently living in my house adult daughter and her family are relocating here. So now.... I look like a person wanting meds to even my doctor!! I have just about given up.... it was hard enough to find him... now I have to hope I find another dr, and hopefully the PCP book is updated.... Oh well.... undecided
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xx Dr Arun & Kiran Sharma Baytown TX $31m fraud
« Reply #6 on: Jul 18th, 2009, 11:49am »

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/NEWS-World-Indians-Abroad-Indian-American-doctor-couple-charged-with-31m-fraud/articleshow/4792600.cms

WASHINGTON: An Indian-American doctor couple in Houston has been charged with illegally distributing 1.3 million tablets of a drug and defrauding several public and private health insurance companies of $31 million by filing false claims.

According to the indictment returned by a federal grand jury on Thursday, Dr Arun Sharma and his wife, Dr Kiran Sharma, both 54, operated the allergy, asthma, arthritis and pain centers located on Cole Street in Webster, Texas, and another on Garth Road in Baytown, Texas

The indictment alleges that Dr Arun Sharma routinely saw in excess of 70 patients per day and that he routinely wrote prescriptions for hydrocodone that were not for a legitimate medical purpose in exchange for cash payments, the Federal Bureau fo Investigation said in a press release.

Dr Sharma allegedly received the cash payments for his hydrocodone prescriptions directly from the patient and he instructed his patients to take the prescriptions to certain pharmacies to be filled.

Arun and Kiran Sharma, according to the indictment, stored large amounts of cash received from the sale of hydrocodone prescriptions at their home. Kiran Sharma allegedly transported large amounts of cash received from the sale of the hydrocodone prescriptions to two safe deposit boxes - one each at Bank of America and Prosperity Bank.

The doctors also were charged with specific counts of illegal drug distribution for hydrocodone prescriptions written to specific patients.

Both doctors are also accused of conspiring to defraud Medicare, Medicaid and private healthcare insurers including Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas, Aetna, Cigna and United Healthcare of more than $31 million for facet joint injections and other medical procedures that were allegedly never performed.

The court has ordered summons to be issued directing the Sharmas to appear in federal court for arraignment on August 3, 2009.

Upon conviction, each of the 17 health care fraud counts and the healthcare conspiracy charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in a federal prison and a $250,000 fine.

The drug conspiracy and each of the 10 drug distribution counts carries a penalty of five years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine. Parole has been abolished in the federal prison system.
« Last Edit: Jul 18th, 2009, 11:57pm by Vijay Mehta » User IP Logged

ko
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xx Re: Dr Arun & Kiran Sharma Baytown TX - Drug deal
« Reply #7 on: Jul 18th, 2009, 7:44pm »

I saw Dr Arun Sharma in 1989 and reported him to my medical insurance Company at that time for fraud. He had billed inusrance for 13 injections when I had received only 1. My insurance company got him and I and the insurance company on the phone at the same time and he stood by his claim and stated I must have been mistaken. I told Aetna not to pay the claim and I was not paying anything to the doctors office. I told Aetna I thought he was a quack and never went back.
As I recall he had a connection with an MRI Company downtown (Houston) that would even pick you up. I did go for my appointment (before I had seen the Aetna bill) but after waiting 3 hours after my appointment time and seeing a steady stream of "patients" getting seen before me I left after explaining I thought they were just an insurance scam outfit.
My impression - they did the crime and should receive max time allowed by law.
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txso
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xx Re: Dr Arun & Kiran Sharma Baytown TX - Drug deal
« Reply #8 on: Jul 29th, 2009, 5:09pm »

I hope these people rot in jail. If they truly thought they were doing something to help people they should have donated all the money they stole not only from their patients but from the insurance companies. No wonder our premiums keep going up! They should be ashamed of themselves, but Karma will get them as they will likely also lose their medical license. I have worked with patients who are addicted to pain medications, and it is very sad when someone is convinced they must constantly drug themselves up with several painkillers to not suffer from pain. What they don't realize is the pain they inflict on their family through there drug addiction is much worse than the pain they suffer from. I hope the patients who have been mistreated by being given potentially hazardous amounts of prescriptions will go see a new doctor to get on the correct regimens. You may not realize this now, but they could have killed you.
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rph
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xx Re: Dr Arun & Kiran Sharma Baytown TX - Drug deal
« Reply #9 on: Jul 31st, 2009, 4:11pm »

I'm a pharmacist that has filled many prescriptions for Dr. Sharma over the years. However, a friend of mine recently opened an independent pharmacy close to his location. Dr. Sharma called him and asked him to come to the office so that he could refer some patients to the new pharmacy. Once my friend got there, Dr. Sharma asked him to go in on a Medicaid fraud scheme with him where he would write prescriptions for wheelchairs and scooters that the patients didn't really need and the pharmacy could bill Medicaid for them and keep the reimbursement. Then, my friend would have to pay Dr. Sharma $1000 for each rx. He assured my friend he has the same arrangement with several other pharmacies in the area. My friend politely declined, not willing to risk jailtime and criminal prosecution, and left. He deserves to lose everything and get alot of jailtime. But as reckless as he was, I strongly feel that when his day in court comes, he will be long gone to India, using a family member's passport.
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na
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xx Re: Dr Arun & Kiran Sharma Baytown TX - Drug deal
« Reply #10 on: Jul 31st, 2009, 7:33pm »

These patients who knows may have become addicted to the medicines or gotten bad side effects from all these drugs. They could have gotten other physical or mental side effects...or could have died...

The moral of the story is yes, there are some desi doctors that are doing fraud. if u suspect or heard someone who might be doing fraud then do report it to the fbi. u can write a detailed complaint and even submit the complaint without giving your identity.

its a shame that doctors take hard earned money from ppl who pay high insurance or something. take advantage of ppl's illness or cause illness to ppl by greed.

so report fraud....who cares if they are desi or not...just do the right thing and report.
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guest
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xx What do children go through?
« Reply #11 on: Aug 7th, 2009, 07:37am »

I feel sorry for there children. I heard son is taking it very hard. Poor children has to suffer becuse of parents karma

I agree, the children are the unintended victims of this. From being the son or daughter of prominent wealthy professional parents one day to become children of criminal fraudulent and probably going to lose all the wealth parents next day is a big shock. They already have enough on their plate to deal with as normal youth but to top it off with this crisis can be devastating. We pray that both the son and the daughter will face this crisis with courage. It is important for anyone who is connected to them to support them as much as they can during this crisis. Let us not forget they have done nothing to deserve this.

The other thing to remember is even though Arun and Kiran Sharma are charged with serious crimes they also might have lot of redeeming qualities. They might be great friends or parents etc. - Vijay Mehta
« Last Edit: Aug 7th, 2009, 10:29am by Vijay Mehta » User IP Logged

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xx Children unintended victims
« Reply #12 on: Aug 7th, 2009, 2:25pm »


Yes, sometimes kids have to suffer because of their Parent's deeds -
But if the kids are raised right they will come out of this stonger than before...
sometimes such parents who are busy making money by hook or by crook -
they have no time to raise their kids right and with excees money flowing in,
kids are rather spoiled and sometimes raised to be monsters due to show of such wealth!
We must just pray to God to give them strength to cope up with whatever come
their way and accept it with gratefulness in their hearts and we also must pray
so they have the right resolve not to repeat the same mistakes over and over again
and do REAL "Prayaschit"!
Hopefully this time around they have learnt their lesson!
« Last Edit: Aug 17th, 2009, 1:00pm by Vijay Mehta » User IP Logged

hidarji
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xx Re: Dr Arun & Kiran Sharma Baytown TX - Drug deal
« Reply #13 on: Aug 9th, 2009, 07:33am »

I also know the Sharmas. They were friendly and one could not even fathom the depths of such obscene greed. There is no forgiveness for destroying so many lives, creating drug addicts, deception, etc.

The doctor who wrote that it was bad judgment, is he as naive as I think he is. This is not India where such practices are rampant without American justice to watch over. This nonsense will not work in the U. S.

The Sharmas knew, the children knew, the Sharma's friends knew what was going on. So much for integrity and righteousness in Indian community for not reporting them sooner.
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xx Re: Dr Arun & Kiran Sharma Baytown TX - Drug deal
« Reply #14 on: Aug 9th, 2009, 9:01pm »

It does not take a great genius to figure out how two doctors of their specialty live better than the highest earning physicians the cardiovascular surgeons.

How naive can you be to believe that the children did not know? If they did not know they must be idiots and I would be seriously concerned about it.

Anything and everything they did was the corrupt third world type medicine.

And yes, the close friends would have known and did know what was going on. One of his patients was an Indian physician who was horrified to see Arun Sharma come in with syringe in each hand ready to inject without knowing the patient at all.

Come on people, these people are pure evil!!! If not, let them practice in India or some third world country where this is acceptable or commonplace.

Get with the program!!!!
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