Washington: A controversial Indian-American physician in the US has been arrested on fraud charges for prescribing abortion-inducing drugs to patients who were not pregnant.
Naresh G Patel, who was arrested yesterday in Oklahoma city, could face up to three years in jail and a maximum fine of USD15,000 if convicted, according to a statement by Attorney General Scott Pruit.
Operating the Outpatient Services for Women clinic in Warr Acres, Patel faces three counts of obtaining money under a false pretence after improperly prescribing abortion-inducing drugs to patients that he falsely identified as pregnant.
Undercover agents from the Oklahoma Medical Licensure Board, the Oklahoma City Police Department and the Attorney General's Office set up appointments with Patel where the doctor performed ultrasounds and pregnancy tests on the women, where he is alleged to have fraudulently identified each undercover agent as pregnant.
Afterward, he prescribed them an abortion-inducing drug, provided directions for administering it and charged the female agents for the unnecessary treatment, the attorney's office said.
"This type of fraudulent activity and blatant disregard for the health and well-being of Oklahoma women will not be tolerated.
"Oklahoma women should be able to trust that the advice they receive from their physicians is truthful, accurate and does not jeopardise their health," said Pruit.
He said: "This investigation is a textbook demonstration of inter-agency cooperation to protect Oklahomans and prosecute the worst offenders," he said.