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April 28, 2023

Stratford doctor sentenced to four years in prison for fraud scheme


An area physician was sentenced Thursday to four years in federal prison and must pay nearly $1.7 million in restitution for healthcare fraud and illegal kickback offenses.

U.S. District Court Judge Stefan R. Underhill imposed the sentence on Dr. Ananthakumar Thillainathan, 45, a Stratford resident, in a proceeding in Bridgeport.

Thillainathan is a physician and the owner and president of MDCareNow LLC, a medical practice with offices in Stratford and Milford. 

Once Thillainathan is finished serving his sentence, he will be on supervised release for three years. He pleaded guilty last November.

Underhill also ordered Thillainathan to pay $1,674,880 in restitution, with $500,000 due within 60 days.

Thillainathan submitted or caused to be submitted approximately $839,724 in fraudulent claims to Connecticut Medicaid for psychotherapy services that he knew patients had not received from his employees, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.

Investigators said the fraudulent claims happened between June 2019 and May 2022.

The fraudulent claims indicated that Thillainathan’s employees had provided 60-minute psychotherapy sessions. However, the government says the employees had “very brief conversations with patients, had only left a voicemail for patients or had no contact with patients at all.”

Thillainathan also paid a third-party “patient recruiting” company for each Connecticut Medicaid patient the company recruited and provided with transportation to MDCareNow for medical services, prosecutors alleged. 

Thillainathan paid this recruiting company approximately $100 per patient for an initial visit to MDCareNow and approximately $40 per patient for any subsequent visit.  Between 2019 and 2021, Thillainathan paid the company for recruiting approximately 1,018 Connecticut Medicaid patients. Connecticut Medicaid reimbursed MDCareNow about $1,071,328 for services provided to these patients, according to the government.

Following his November guilty plea, Thillainathan surrendered his Connecticut Controlled Substance Certificate of Registration. This meant he no longer held a valid controlled substance license and could not prescribe controlled substances. According to the government, Thillainathan subsequently wrote at least 34 prescriptions for controlled substances, including 14 prescriptions for oxycodone. 

Thillainathan’s bond was revoked, and he has been detained since January 13.

Attorney Christine L. Landis with the Law Offices of Mark Sherman in Stamford represents Thillainathan.

In a pre-sentencing memorandum to the court, Thillainathan’s legal team asked the judge to consider his previous law-abiding life and acceptance of responsibility when determining a sentence.

More than 25 patients wrote character reference letters on Thillainathan’s behalf, noting his “compassion, patience, kindness, thoroughness and willingness to answer their call at any hour of the day, on his own time and at his home number,” the memorandum states.

“His involvement in these offenses was a result of his poor, reckless choices and misconduct,” the defense memorandum said. “Dr. Thillainathan made no attempt to justify or downplay his misconduct and demonstrably regrets making the decisions to pay illegal remunerations and to submit fraudulent claims.”

Thillainathan, a citizen of Sri Lanka and a lawful permanent resident of the U.S., faces immigration proceedings when he completes his prison sentence.

Contact Michelle Tuccitto Sullo at

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