McDonald Hopkins Government Compliance, Investigations, and White Collar Defense team secures acquittals for Cleveland-area client
McDonald Hopkins would like to congratulate Richard Blake, Member and Chair of the firm’s Government Compliance, Investigations, and White Collar Defense Practice Group, and the entire defense team that worked to secure acquittals for our client, Dr. Jayati Gupta Rakhit, following a 10-week trial in Cleveland. After nearly two weeks of deliberations, the jury returned not guilty verdicts on 47 counts of health care related charges, and were deadlocked on the remaining 38 counts, for which the federal judge declared a mistrial.
“I am honored by the trust that the Dr. Gupta Rakhit placed in me and our team. I am proud of the job we did, and grateful to the jurors for their careful consideration of the case,” Blake noted, following the favorable verdicts.
In January 2018, federal agents performed early morning raids on the home and offices Dr. Gupta Rakhit shares with her husband, Dr. Ashis Rakhit, both cardiologists, after engaging in a sting operation using an undercover FBI agent and several individuals (facing their own criminal charges) to pose as patients pretending to be in pain and requesting prescriptions and controlled substances. All of the individuals and the FBI agent wore concealed audio recorders and video cameras during their visits. The government also called a number of experts, former patients, insurance company representatives, former hospital employees and employees of the Rakhits, and various other individuals to support its charges against the doctors.
Blake has acted on Dr. Gupta Rakhit’s behalf since January 2018, insisting that the government abused its authority and, in bringing more than 85 separate criminal charges, overcharged the doctors in what was nothing more than a civil billing dispute. According to Blake, any questions regarding the Rakhits’ cardiac testing should have first been addressed with the Ohio State Medical Board rather than government experts regularly hired by federal prosecutors to support their cases.
“In today’s environment, healthcare providers find themselves between the proverbial rock and a hard place,” said Blake. “If they are accused of not testing enough and something is missed, they face malpractice lawsuits. If they are accused of testing too much, they face criminal prosecution and the loss of everything they ever worked for. And who ultimately suffers? The patients.”