Retired Louisville doctor on trial for money laundering, healthcare fraud and prescribing pills that killed patient
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – A retired Louisville doctor on trial for money laundering, healthcare fraud and prescribing pills that killed a patient took the stand Tuesday in his own defense.
Among other things, a federal indictment alleges Dr. George Kudmani pocketed cash from his patients between Jan. 2009 and Sept. 2012. Investigators said the patients would be given a prescription for pain pills, including Oxycodone and Hydrocodone, without a physical exam.
“Those patients will be called to the court, and they will testify on my behalf that what they are taking is needed for their health, so they can work,” Kudmani told WDRB in Dec. 2013. “If they don’t take the pain medication, they cannot work to support their families.”
Kudmani is also accused of performing medically unnecessary services and billing healthcare benefit programs for reimbursement. With the cash he was allegedly pocketing, investigators say he even bought a new car.
In the years since, Kudmani said he’s given up his Kentucky medical license. He says he hasn’t practiced medicine since 2012.
Now on trial in federal court, Kudmani testified Tuesday that he has never prescribed medication for someone who didn’t need it. He also said he’s never given unnecessary ultrasounds or charged for procedures that he did not perform.
Kudmani did admit he would write prescriptions for controlled substances without an exam. He said he did it because he knew the patients were in pain, but he said he did not pocket any cash.
When asked about his patient that died, Kudmani said he treated the woman for about ten years, and when he learned she had a problem with abusing prescription pills, he stopped prescribing her medication.
After a relative of that patient said she would watch over the medication, Kudmani said he again wrote her prescriptions.
In May 2010, Kudmani said he prescribed the patient Klonopin, a medicine he knew her psychiatrist would normally give her. The patient died a few days later.
If convicted at trial, Kudmani faces a maximum potential penalty of life in prison, a fine of $14.5 million, and five-year period of supervised release.
Closing arguments are set for Wednesday. A verdict could come on Thursday.