NEW YORK – A federal jury on Wednesday convicted a Georgia lab owner of a $463 million genetic testing fraud scheme.
Minal Patel, owner of LabSolutions, was found guilty of submitting between July 2016 and August 2019 more than $463 million in claims to Medicare, including for medically unnecessary genetic tests, for which Medicare paid over $187 million. Patel personally received more than $21 million in Medicare payments.
Patel targeted Medicare beneficiaries with telemarketing calls falsely stating that Medicare covered certain cancer genetic tests, then, upon getting the beneficiaries to take tests, he paid kickbacks and bribes to patient brokers to obtain signed doctors' orders authorizing the tests.
Patel was convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud and wire fraud, three counts of healthcare fraud, one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States and to pay and receive illegal healthcare kickbacks, four counts of paying illegal healthcare kickbacks, and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.
He is scheduled to be sentenced on March 7, 2023, and faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison on the first conspiracy count, 10 years on each healthcare fraud count, five years on the second conspiracy count, 10 years on each kickback count, and 20 years on the third conspiracy count.
According to the US Department of Justice, the case was brought as part of Operation Double Helix, a federal law enforcement action focused on fraudulent genetic cancer testing.