Brookline Sleep Doctor Accused of Fraud, Money Laundering

Dr. Pankaj Merchia is accused of billing insurer's for machines patients were no longer using, and for billing an insurer for treatment of a family member that would not have been covered

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NBC Connecticut

A Brookline, Massachusetts, doctor was indicted by a federal grand jury Tuesday in alleged health care and money laundering schemes.

Dr. Pankaj Merchia, 49, who works as a sleep medicine physician, is accused of two separate frauds, the US Attorney's Office in Boston said. In the first, prosecutors allege he billed former patients' insurers for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) and Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure (BiPap) machines long after the patients stopped using them. Investigators believe he then used the money to buy his home in Brookline.

In the second alleged scheme, Merchia is accused of billing the insurance company of a family member over $400,000 for a CPAP machine, despite knowing the insurer would not pay for treatment given by a family member. Investigators allege he used $250,000 of that money in a wire transfer and bought at least $140,000 in securities.

The charges carry a sentence of up to 10 years in prison and fines up to $250,000.

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