A two-year prison sentence was handed down Monday for a former physician from Encino who engaged in health care fraud and illegally prescribed controlled substances.
Kain Kumar, 56, was also ordered to pay more than $1 million in fines, forfeiture and restitution, and to serve three years on supervised release following his time in custody. U.S. District Judge Philip S. Gutierrez ordered Kumar to surrender to U.S. marshals at the end of the day to begin serving his sentence.
The defendant has already surrendered his medical license, defense attorney David Willingham told the court.
Kumar pleaded guilty in April to fraudulently billing Medicare for services not rendered and prescribing the opiate painkiller hydrocodone for no legitimate purpose.
In a letter to the court, Kumar apologized for his crimes and gave an explanation.
“The truth is, I engaged in kickbacks because I thought I could get away with it, I thought everyone did it (and) I thought I deserved it,” he wrote.
Kumar admitted that between February 2011 and May 2016, he billed Medicare for office visits when he did not actually see the patients at one of his clinics in the high desert.
Prosecutors recommended a federal prison sentence of 41 months, while Kumar’s attorney argued for a year and a day behind bars.
Kumar is the fifth and final defendant sentenced in the case. Elaine Lat, 50, of Fontana, is serving a 30-month sentence for paying more than $1.25 million in illegal kickbacks to doctors in exchange for referrals to her home health agency.
Lat was the chief operating officer of Star Home Health Resources, a La Verne-based company that received more than $8.5 million from Medicare after Star submitted bills for services provided to patients who were referred by Kumar and other doctors through the kickback scheme, prosecutors said.
Star would pay participating physicians between $200 and $900 for each Medicare beneficiary they referred to Lat’s agency, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Three other defendants, including Lat’s parents, each pleaded guilty to criminal charges and were sentenced last year.