Westlake doctor convicted of performing unnecessary procedures sentenced to 20 years in prison

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WESTLAKE, Ohio - A Westlake doctor accused of performing unnecessary medical procedures as a part of a Medicare scheme has been sentenced to 20 years in jail.

In 2014, Dr. Harold Persaud, 56, was convicted on one count of health care fraud, 13 counts of making false statements and one count of engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from criminal activity.

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Officials say Persaud was doing unnecessary catheterizations, tests, stent insertions and causing unnecessary coronary artery bypass surgeries as a part of a Medicare overbilling scheme.

The procedures occurred between February 2006 and June 2012 and the private insurers and Medicare paid more than $5.7 million. There was nearly $29 million billed to Medicare and the private insurers.

“This defendant used his medical license as a license to steal,” said First Assistant U.S. Attorney Carole S. Rendon. “He inflated Medicare billings, falsified cardiac care records and performing needless and sometimes invasive tests and procedures. This prison sentence is well deserved.”

“Dr. Persaud violated the sacred trust between doctor and patient by ordering unnecessary tests, procedures and surgeries to line his pockets,” said Stephen D. Anthony, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Cleveland Office. “He ripped off taxpayers and put patients’ lives at risk.”

According to officials, Persaud had his own private practice and also had privileges at Fairview Hospital, St. John’s Medical Center and Southwest General Hospital.

A hearing is scheduled for January 27 to determine the restitution amounts.