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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, June 18, 2021

Former Amherst Pain Doctor Going To Prison For Illegal Prescribing And Defrauding Medicare

CONTACT: Barbara Burns
PHONE: (716) 843-5817
FAX #: (716) 551-3051

BUFFALO, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Dr. Gautam Arora, 43, formerly of Buffalo, NY, who was convicted of unlawfully acquiring controlled prescriptions by misrepresentation and fraud, and scheming to defraud a health care benefit program, was sentenced to serve 14 months in prison by U.S. District Lawrence J. Vilardo.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Joel L. Violanti, who handled the case, stated that between April 2013 and May 2017, the defendant, while working as the pain management doctor at the Hens Pain Center in Amherst, NY,  prescribed opioids to multiple patients outside the usual course of professional practice and without a legitimate medical purpose. These opioids included hydrocodone, oxycodone, dextroamphetamine-amphetamine, and carisoprodol. Arora wrote approximately 61 prescriptions for controlled substances to individuals who were either not his patients, or without first conducting a proper examination, verifying their medical condition, and assessing the risk of abuse by the individual patient.

In addition, between January 1 and March 31, 2016, the defendant fraudulently billed Medicare for patient office visits totaling $92,209.50. Arora requested and received payment for medical services he did not perform or did not perform to the extent represented.

“History has taught us that inappropriate prescribing practices by some healthcare professionals were a significant contributing factor to the opioid epidemic which continues to ravage this country,” stated U.S. Attorney Kennedy. “This defendant, and others like him, put profits before the well-being of his patients.  In the process, he also defrauded a federal health care program designed to help, not harm, those who receive Medicare benefits.”

The sentencing is the result of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Agency, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Ray Donovan, New York Field Division, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Stephen Belongia.

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Topic(s): 
Opioids
Prescription Drugs
Health Care Fraud
Updated June 18, 2021