Dr. Shahjahan Sultan, 37, of Madison, Mississippi, will spend four years in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release for conspiring to commit health care fraud.
Tuesday, Senior U.S. District Judge Keith Starrett also ordered Sultan to pay more than $7.1 million as part of his sentence. The amount breaks down to $4.8 million in restitution ($4,102,634.65 to Express Scripts (TRICARE), $582,280.79 to CVS Caremark and $115,611.03 to Catamaran) and more than $2.3 million in a court-imposed money judgement.
Sultan was part of a multi-million dollar web of fraud and deceit that has, so far, seen more than a dozen formerly well-respected members of their communities charged with fraud over two and a half years including former Vicksburg residents Wade Walters and Mitchell “Chad” Barrett
In May 2014, Sultan entered into a contract with a pharmacy located in Jackson County, Mississippi. Pursuant to the contract, Sultan agreed to prescribe expensive compound medications in exchange for the pharmacy agreeing to pay Sultan 35% of the reimbursements it received for Sultan’s prescriptions. Health care benefit programs, including TRICARE, were billed for the medications.
Sultan employed others who identified people in places like Jones County, Mississippi, who had insurance that covered the expensive compounded medications. Sultan met with the insured people over telemedicine video-chat sessions. However, during these meetings, he did not perform thorough examinations and did not determine the medical necessity of the compounded medications he prescribed.
Sultan knew that some of the added ingredients in the medications were not effective and were added solely to increase the reimbursement value. On occasion, Sultan called in compounded medications for people he had not examined.
From May 2014 through January 2015, Sultan and his co-conspirators prescribed millions of dollars of unnecessary compounded medications to patients. In total, the court held Sultan responsible for causing over $8 million in intended loss to health care providers.
Sultan pleaded guilty before Judge Starrett Nov. 21, 2019.
Dr. Thomas Edward Sturdavant, 56, of Kingsport, Tennessee, and nurses Freda Cal Covington, 54, of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and Fallon Deneem Page, 36, of Soso, Mississippi, were all indicted along with Dr. Sultan in June 2019. Dr. Sturdavant will be sentenced Monday, June 22. Covington is set for sentencing June 24, and Page will be sentenced July 7.
U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst, Special Agent in Charge Michelle Sutphin of the FBI in Mississippi, and Special Agent in Charge Cyndy Bruce of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service’s Southeast Field Office made the announcement of Sultan’s sentencing Tuesday in a press release.See a typo? Report it here.