Doctor faces health care fraud, money laundering charges

December 20, 2022 GMT

A Massachusetts doctor has been indicted by a federal grand jury for his alleged involvement in two separate health care fraud schemes, federal prosecutors said Tuesday.

Dr. Pankaj Merchia, 49, of Brookline and Boca Raton, Florida, was indicted on money laundering and health care fraud charges, according to the U.S. attorney’s office in Boston.

Merchia, who specializes in sleep and internal medicine according to the state Board of Registration in Medicine, was scheduled to make an initial appearance in federal court in Boston on Tuesday.

An email seeking comment was sent to his attorney.

In one scheme, he allegedly billed former patients’ insurance companies for monthly rentals of CPAP and BiPap machines years after the former patients had stopped using the machines.

He used the money he made to buy a home in Brookline, authorities said.

In another, he allegedly billed a family member’s insurer more than $400,000 for the monthly rental of a CPAP machine, despite knowing that the insurance carrier would not pay for treatment rendered by a family member, prosecutors said.

He then used the proceeds to fund a wire transfer of $250,000 and to buy at least $140,000 in securities, prosecutors said.