Texas Conviction of Physical Therapist
Press Release: US Dept of Justice, US Attorney, Southern District of Texas, Chuck Rosenberg
November 17, 2005
Public Affairs Specialist
P. O. Box 61129 Houston, TX 77208
Phone: 713/567-9388 Fax: 713/718-3389
(HOUSTON, TX) United States Attorney Chuck Rosenberg today announced the verdicts of a federal jury convicting Dr. Anant Mauskar, 72, of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and receiving kickbacks as a result of a scheme that cost Medicare and Medicaid health care benefit programs millions of dollars in losses due to fraudulent claims. Charged with a total of 24 counts of health care fraud in connection with Medicare and Medicaid claims for physical therapy services and durable medical equipment, Mauskar was convicted of 20 of those counts and acquitted of four.
Today’s verdicts end the second trial of Mauskar for the same charges. The first trial that began in February 2005, ended in a mistrial on April 1, 2005, after the jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict. According to a note filed with the court, that jury deadlocked on all counts with a vote of 11 to 1 for conviction.
The second jury began its deliberations yesterday, November 16, 2005, around noon, after ten days of testimony and returned its guilty verdicts today just before noon. United States District Judge Ewing Werlein, who presided over the trial, has set sentencing for February 24, 2006, at 10:00 a.m. Mauskar has been permitted to remain free on bond pending that hearing.
Mauskar’s convictions are based upon the evidence presented during trial that proved that beginning in August 1999 and continuing through January 2000, Mauskar caused false and fraudulent claims to be submitted to Medicare for physical therapy evaluations and services in that (1) claimed evaluations were not performed by a physician; (2) claimed services were not performed; and (3) claimed services that were performed were done so by unqualified persons without the supervision of a physician. Although Mauskar signed forms representaing the he personally evaluated and supervised services, he never examined any patients nor supervised any services.
Beginning in 2001 through December 2003, Dr. Mauskar engaged in another scheme to defraud Medicare by submitting false and fraudulent claims for services provided to Medicare beneficiaries who were unlawfully referred to him for the purpose of authorizing motorized wheelchairs knowing the beneficiary did not qualify under Medicare guidelines. Several beneficiaries who were transported to Mauskar’s clinic testified that he did not examine them and several tests were performed prior to even seeing Mauskar. As a result of this scheme, Dr. Mauskar billed Medicare in excess of $ 4 million and was paid $1.4 million.
The conspiracy conviction carries a maximum punishment of five (5) years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine. Each of the health care fraud convictions carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. During trial, assistance was provided to the prosecution team by the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit of the Texas Attorney General’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney Samuel Louis and Cedric Joubert are prosecuting this case.