Hudson Valley Eye Dr. Pleads Guilty to Fraud; ‘Blinded by Greed’
An ophthalmologist with several Hudson Valley locations has pleaded guilty to a seven-year fraud scheme. Not only does he need to forfeit over $3 million, but he now faces significant jail time.
According to the US Justice Department, Dr. Ameet Goyal cooked the books for his ophthalmologist practices and, while he was being investigated for fraud, illegally obtained two COVID-19 relief loans under false pretenses.
Goyal operated Rye Eye Associates, with Hudson Valley offices in Wappingers Falls, Rye and Mt. Kisco. The doctor also had an office in Greenwich, Connecticut. According to U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss, Goyal plead guilty to falsely billing for millions of dollars in procedures he did not perform.
Dr. Ameet Goyal was an experienced eye doctor who became blinded by greed and routinely defrauded patients who trusted him to heal their eyes. He grossly overbilled minor ophthalmological procedures, billed for tests and procedures that were never performed, falsified medical records, attempted to corrupt others in his practice to abet the scheme, and sent patients who refused to pay his fraudulent charges to collections.
Goyal was indicted for these crimes back in 2019. While facing these charges, officials say the brazen doctor started a new fraud scheme. The doctor applied for two Paycheck Protection Program loans that landed him $630,000 in federal funds earmarked for legitimate small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Goyal has pleaded guilty to both schemes and has agreed to forfeit $3.6 million. The ophthalmologist also faces significant jail time.
The first count of healthcare fraud carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. Goyal also plead guilty to wire fraud, which could land him up to 20 years. Additionally, “making false statements relating to health care matters” could tack on an extra five years in prison. Besides these crimes, Goyal also faces prison time bank fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison; making false statements on a loan application, which carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison; and making false statements in a matter within the jurisdiction of the executive branch of the Government of the United States, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.
The Department of Justice says that because Goyal committed loan fraud while already on pretrial release, he could receive an additional maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.