- Ravi Murali, 39, pleaded guilty in March and admitted that he wrote thousands of fraudulent orders for Durable Medical Equipment (DME).
An Indian American doctor in Wisconsin was sentenced to 54 months in federal prison for his role in a scheme to defraud Medicare. Ravi Murali, 39, formerly of Edgerton, Wisconsin, pleaded guilty in March and admitted that he wrote thousands of fraudulent orders for Durable Medical Equipment (DME), according to the Department of Justice. Other participants in the scheme used Murali’s fraudulent orders to bill Medicare $26,000,000 of which Medicare paid $13,000,000.
At the Nov. 22 sentencing, Chief U.S. District Judge James D. Peterson emphasized that “a severe sentence was necessary to deter other providers who were considering whether to defraud Medicare and other federal programs.” He further noted that Murali’s “history of dishonesty cut in favor of a longer sentence.” He was previously disciplined by the Wisconsin Medical Examining Board for creating a fraudulent diploma to falsely claim that he completed his residency.
Murali was charged in June 2020 in a 12-count indictment for his role in a health care fraud scheme while working as a physician for various telemedicine companies. According to the indictment, from January 2017 to January 2020, he signed orders for medical braces (such as ankle braces, knee braces, back braces, shoulder braces, wrist braces, and hand braces) for Medicare beneficiaries that contained false statements.
These statements included that Murali had spoken with the Medicare beneficiary, that he had established a valid prescriber-patient relationship with the Medicare beneficiary, that he medically assessed the Medicare beneficiary, and that he conducted various examinations and diagnostic tests of the Medicare beneficiary. The indictment noted that these representations were rarely, if ever, true, and Murali ordered braces for Medicare beneficiaries regardless of medical necessity, fraudulently billing Medicare for over $26 million, of which Medicare actually paid over $13 million. Murali was paid approximately $30 for each telemedicine consult he completed.