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A federal grand jury has indicted South Bay doctor and PQME Venkat Aachi, charging him with distributing hydrocodone outside the scope of his professional practice and without a legitimate medical need, and with health care fraud related to the submission of false and fraudulent claims regarding the health care benefits.

Aachi is listed on the DIR database as a PQME in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation with offices in San Jose and Campbell California.

According to the indictment filed October 9, 2018, and unsealed Friday, October 12, 2018, on six occasions from November 27, 2017, through March 5, 2018, Aachi knowingly distributed hydrocodone to two individuals knowing that the distribution was outside the scope of his professional practice and not for a legitimate medical purpose.

Further, on July 2, 2018, Aachi allegedly submitted to an insurance company a false and fraudulent claim for payment for healthcare benefits, items, and services.

Aachi made an initial appearance on October 12, 2018, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Virginia K DeMarchi. At that time, he was arraigned on the indictment, entered a plea of not guilty, and was released on bond. Aachi is scheduled to appear next before Magistrate Judge DeMarchi on October 22, 2018, for a further bond hearing.

If convicted, Aachi faces a maximum 20 years in prison and a one-million dollar fine for each of the six distribution counts and an additional 10 years in prison for the insurance fraud count.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Shailika Kotiya is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Rawaty Yim.

This prosecution is the result of investigations by the DEA, FBI, HHS-OIG, and the California Department of Justice Bureau of Medi Cal Fraud and Elder Abuse (BMFEA).

Through the BMFEA, the California Department of Justice regularly works with other law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute fraud perpetrated on the Medi Cal program against a wide variety of healthcare providers, including doctors and pharmaceutical companies.

This case was investigated and prosecuted by member agencies of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force, a focused multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional task force investigating and prosecuting the most significant drug trafficking organizations throughout the United States by leveraging the combined expertise of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies.