July 10, 2020
By Caity Witucki
Contributing Editor, Fraud Friday
Fraud Friday — Ophthalmologist Obtains PPP Loans while On Medical Fraud Pretrial Release
Ameet Goyal, a New York ophthalmologist previously indicted for healthcare fraud, has been charged in a Superseding Indictment for fraudulently obtaining over $600,000 in government-guaranteed PPP loan funds while on pretrial release.
The previous healthcare fraud charges, filed in November, allege that Goyal submitted false claims for surgeries that he did not perform and “upcoded” surgeries that he did perform to make them appear more expensive. According to court documents, from January 2010 to March 2017, Goyal allegedly billed more than $8 million for those procedures and received more than $3 million in payments.
As a result of the pending trial, Goyal was ineligible for a PPP loan. However, in April 2020, Goyal allegedly submitted two separate PPP loan applications to a bank in New York. Although the applications listed different business names, email addresses, business identification numbers, and loan amounts, the indictment alleges that both loans were in fact for the same underlying Practice. To substantiate each loan, Goyal allegedly submitted the exact same underlying payroll expense report, showing the same employees and payroll costs. Goyal also allegedly falsely answered “No” to the “pending charges” question on the application, and electronically placed his initials “AG” directly under his “No” response.
After processing each of Goyal’s signed and certified applications, Goyal’s bank informed him that his applications were approved by the SBA. Goyal then allegedly executed both loan notes and received $637,200.
Goyal is now facing six counts in the Superseding Indictment, including healthcare fraud, wire fraud, making false statements relating to health care matters, bank fraud, making false statements on a loan application, and making false statements in a matter within the jurisdiction of the executive branch of the Government of the United States. If Goyal is found guilty of bank fraud while on pretrial release, he may receive an additional 10 years in prison on top of the maximum sentence for each count.