A Westlake, Ohio, cardiologist was sentenced to 20 years in prison for performing unnecessary catheterizations, tests, stent insertions
causing unnecessary coronary artery bypass surgeries as part of a
scheme to overbill Medicare and other insurers by $29 million.
Harold Persaud, 56, was convicted earlier this year of one count of
health care fraud, 13 counts of making false statements and one count of
engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from criminal
“This defendant used his medical license as a license to
steal,” the Justice Department’s First Assistant U.S. Attorney Carole S.
Rendon is quoted saying in a Dec. 18 press release. She called the
sentence “well deserved” in light of the crimes committed.
senior law enforcement officials involved in the investigation and
prosecution of Persaud, said he had put patients’ lives at risk as he
ripped off taxpayers.
Persaud had a private medical practice at
29099 Health Campus Drive in Westlake and had hospital privileges at
Fairview Hospital, St. John’s
Medical Center and Southwest General Hospital, according to court documents and trial testimony.
Persaud devised a scheme through which he carried out the fraud from
2006 to 2012, selecting expensive procedures from the billing code,
out unnecessary nuclear stress tests and falsified their
results to justify cardiac catheterization procedures that were not
He recorded false symptoms, inserted cardiac
stents in patients who did not have the needed minimum 70 percent
blockage, and even went to the extent of improperly referring patients
for coronary artery bypass surgery that would require further expensive
tests he could then charge insurance companies and Medicare.
A hearing is scheduled for Jan. 27, to determine how much he would have to pay in restitution apart from his jail term.