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A former Edgerton doctor last week received a sentence of 4½ years in a federal prison for his role in a scheme to defraud Medicare of $13 million while working as a physician for various telemedicine companies, although his take was reportedly less than $300,000.

Dr. Ravi Murali, 39, was sentenced in federal court in Madison by U.S. District Judge James Peterson, who said a severe sentence was necessary to deter other providers from attempting to defraud Medicare.

Peterson also noted that Murali had a history of dishonesty. He was previously disciplined by the Wisconsin Medical Examining Board for creating a fraudulent diploma to falsely claim that he completed residency.

According to a news release from Timothy M. O’Shea, acting United States attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, Murali wrote thousands of fraudulent orders for medical equipment. Other participants in the scheme used those orders to bill Medicare $26 million, of which Medicare paid $13 million.

The government alleged in its indictment that from January 2017 to January 2020, Murali signed falsified orders for ankle braces, knee braces and other similar braces for Medicare beneficiaries.

Murali is accused of submitting orders for the braces in which he stated he had spoken to beneficiaries, had established a prescriber-patient relationship, had medically assessed the beneficiaries and conducted examinations and tests. These statements “were rarely, if ever, true,” according to the indictment.

Murali pleaded guilty to federal health care fraud March 31. Eleven other counts were dropped in exchange for his plea. In May, he was ordered to surrender his medical license.

The Wisconsin State Journal reported the scheme netted Murali $291,480, which he was ordered to repay in restitution.

The case against Murali was the result of an investigation by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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