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Indian-American physician in Maryland sentenced to 9 years prison $3M restitution in health fraud scheme

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Paramjit Singh Ajrawat

Paramjit Singh Ajrawat

SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — Paramjit Singh Ajrawat, an Indian-American physician from Maryland, has been sentenced to serve nine years in prison and ordered to pay back more than $3 million for a healthcare fraud scheme he orchestrated.

U.S. District Judge Deborah K. Chasanow sentenced Ajrawat to the 111-month prison term last week, to be followed by three years of supervised release. Ajrawat had been charged with two counts of making a false statement related to a health care program, one count of obstruction of justice, four counts of wire fraud, and one count of aggravated identity theft related to a health care fraud scheme.

The charges stemmed from incidents which occurred at a pain clinic that Ajrawat owned and operated alongside his wife.

“This lengthy sentence sends a powerful message that doctors who defraud health insurance programs will be held accountable,” said U.S. attorney Rod J. Rosenstein.

Ajrawat was a licensed physician in Maryland who specialized in interventional pain management. The Washington Pain Management Center, was operated by he and his wife, Sukhveen Kaur Ajrawat, who is also a doctor. The two were convicted by a federal jury in Sept. 2015, however, the government opted to drop the charges against Sukhveen after her death in February.

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The couple defrauded federal health benefit programs including Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare and the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, according to evidence presented at the trial. They filed claims for procedures which were never performed, and performed less-expensive procedures, but falsely billed for procedures that provided higher reimbursement amounts, the evidence suggested. Additionally, the Ajrawats submitted claims stating they had met the requirements for reimbursement, when they had in fact not met those requirements.

 

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Trump impeachment inquiry hearings begin

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Trump Impeachment inquiry

WASHINGTON (Diya TV)  — On the first day of the public Trump impeachment inquiry hearings over the President’s dealings in Ukraine, Bill Taylor, the acting US ambassador to Ukraine, testified one of his aides heard from EU ambassador Gordon Sondland that the President was focused on triggering investigations into Joe Biden and his son. The aide, David Holmes, reportedly also overheard a conversation between Trump and Sondland, where they discussed ‘the investigations.’ Holmes will appear for a closed-door deposition with impeachment investigators Friday. Republican allies of Trump painted the testimony of Taylor and George Kent as hearsay.

More than 100 Indian CEOs, political leaders and even Bollywood stars like Deepika Padukone will head Davos in January for the 50th anniversary of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting to discuss making ‘cohesive and sustainable world.’ President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin are also expected to be there.

The Food and Drug Administration granted Shreis Scalene Sciences (Shreis), an American company, a ‘Breakthrough Device Designation’ for the CYTOTRON, a cancer treatment, developed in India, by scientist Dr. Rajah Vijay Kumar in Bengaluru.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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India, Pakistan trade quips at UNESCO

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UNESCO

PARIS (Diya TV)  — At UNESCO’s general conference in Paris, both Pakistan and India traded quips over Kashmir. Pakistan’s Minister of Education and newly elected President of UNESCO’s Education Commission Shafqat Mehmood efforted to convince UNESCO leadership to confront India over their recent constitutional change affecting Jammu and Kashmir, claiming 1.5 million Kashmiri students who have not been able to attend schools since August 5th. In response, India’s UNESCO delegate Ananya Agarwal countered that “Pakistan is the world’s largest producer and exporter” of terrorism, calling Pakistan’s charges “fabricated falsehoods.”

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Notable executives from the worlds of private investing, industry and nonprofits came together to talk about impact investing at Akshaya Patra’s TAP Forum in the Bay Area. The goal is to take the diasporas success to build a foundation for the next generation.

The Indian women’s hockey team will get the chance to go for the gold in Tokyo, qualifying for the 2020 Olympics after beating team USA in a qualifying match.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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House holds hearing on human right violations in Jammu & Kashmir

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Jammu

WASHINGTON (Diya TV)  — The Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, a bipartisan caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives, examined the human rights situation in Jammu and Kashmir. Seattle Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal was among those on hand hearing testimony from experts offering widely different narratives. The commission plans to take these perspectives into account before offering recommendations for action by Congress.

In a line of questioning during the impeachment inquiry lauded by many political analysts, Democratic Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi focused on the timeline of the Ukraine affair, confirming through witness testimony that once Congress began investigating quid pro quo by the Trump administration, security funds were released to Ukraine two days later.

American tech firms are increasingly sponsoring green cards, or permanent US residency, for their employees from India and elsewhere in an effort to hold on to their skilled talent at a time when work visa extensions have become unpredictable.

India will fund at least 250 defense startups over the next five years as it seeks new technologies for their armed forces. The plan is obtain at least 50 ‘tangible innovations’ by the startups for military use.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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