News and Press Releases

Long Island Doctor to Be Arraigned Today on Child Sexual Exploitation and Health Care Fraud Charges

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 11, 2012

Defendant Allegedly Recorded Images of Victims During Office Visits and Billed Insurance Companies

Rakesh K. Punn will be arraigned later today before United States District Judge Joanna Seybert at the United States Courthouse, 100 Federal Plaza, Central Islip, New York, on a 36-count indictment charging him with sexual exploitation of children and health care fraud.1

The charges were announced by Loretta E. Lynch, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Janice K. Fedarcyk, Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office, Kathleen M. Rice, Nassau County District Attorney, and Thomas V. Dale, Commissioner, Nassau County Police Department.

Nassau County law enforcement authorities initially arrested Punn on July 16, 2010, and subsequently filed an indictment that charged him with multiple counts of violating New York State sexual abuse and fraud laws, including recording sexually explicit activity involving his minor patients during their visits to his office located in his residence in Bethpage, New York. Punn has remained in state custody on those charges since his arrest.

The 36-count federal indictment, returned on January 4, 2012, charges Punn with sexual exploitation of children and health care fraud. As alleged in the indictment, between September 6, 2007 and January 21, 2008, Punn sexually exploited three children under the guise of medical treatment at his home office and recorded the activities. The federal indictment also alleges that Punn then submitted fraudulent insurance claims for medical treatment of those three children and three other patients, when in fact, the purported treatments had not been conducted for any medically accepted purpose, but rather for the sexual gratification of the defendant.

“As alleged in the indictment, the defendant not only violated the criminal law, he also betrayed his oath as a licensed physician, to first, do no harm,” stated United States Attorney Lynch. “These children were entrusted to the defendant by their parents for health care and what they allegedly received was sexual abuse. He furthered their victimization by recording the acts. No child should be subjected to this exploitation. Dr. Punn then compounded his charged offense by billing insurance companies for his sexual misconduct. He will now be held to account.”

Assistant Director-in-Charge Fedarcyk stated, “The indictment alleges an egregious betrayal of the physician’s oath and ethical obligation. Not only did this defendant allegedly exploit his contact with children to abuse them, he had the audacity to bill their insurers for this ‘treatment’. The FBI is totally committed to protecting children from predatory practitioners.”

Nassau County District Attorney Rice stated, “This defendant was trusted with the medical care of his young patients. Instead, as charged in the indictment, he not only sexually abused young girls, but profited by defrauding his victims’ insurance companies. Those who sexually exploit children belong behind bars.”

Nassau County Police Commissioner Dale stated, “The arrest and prosecution of Dr. Punn is the direct result of an investigative commitment to end this alleged criminal conduct, and to prevent others from falling victim to the reprehensible acts charged in the indictment announced today. These efforts demonstrate the effectiveness of law enforcement’s combined efforts to apprehend sexual predators and prosecute to the fullest extent of the law.”

If convicted, the defendant faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years’ imprisonment and a maximum of 30 years’ imprisonment for each count of sexual exploitation of a child, and a maximum sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment for each count of health care fraud.

The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Allen L. Bode and Special Assistant United States Attorney Jane Zwirn-Turkin.

The Defendant:

Name: RAKESH K. PUNN
Age: 53

 

 

_____________________________

1 The charges are merely allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.



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