Wise County doctor surrenders license, pleads guilty to health care fraud


A Wise County doctor who prescribed Ritalin and hydrocodone to an undercover investigator without a legitimate medical purpose pleaded guilty Thursday to federal health care fraud and drug distribution charges

As part of a plea agreement, 78-year-old Gurcharan Singh Kanwal agreed to surrender his medical license and never reapply for one. He also agreed to pay $472,500 in restitution to the Virginia Medicaid program.

According to evidence at Thursday's hearing, Kanwal knowingly distributed Ritalin and hydrocodone without a legitimate medical purpose and beyond the bounds of medical practice to the investigator between September 19, 2016 and February 22, 2017. Kanwal also fraudulently billed Virginia Medicaid for services provided to the investigator, which were not medically necessary or not actually received.

An investigation into Kanwal and the Coeburn Medical Clinic began after agents received complaints that controlled substances were being diverted by employees and patients of Kanwal.

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