Hours after being convicted in a multimillion dollar fraud case, Indian American Suresh Mitta, of Richardson, Texas, died while in the custody of U.S. Marshals.
Mitta was convicted by a federal jury of taking part in an elaborate fraud scheme that involved selling bogus MRI equipment to a North Texas hospital, according to news reports.
Mitta, who also went by the names Suresh Reddy and Mitta Suresh, had been found guilty May 22 in Missouri of a single count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud in a case that victimized Dallas Medical Center, a Farmers Branch community hospital, reports said.
While in a cell with other prisoners in Jackson County, Mo., Mitta suffered what law enforcement authorities said looked like a seizure. An ambulance was called and Mitta was taken to a local hospital, where he died, according to the reports.
Mitta, who was indicted in federal court Nov. 16, 2016, was the chief technology officer for several entities owned and operated by Albert Davis, 57, also of Richardson. In a separate case, Davis pleaded guilty to leading the conspiracy, it said.
The conspirators "engaged in a scheme to use [the] reputation and standing in the medical field" of Cerner Corp., a Missouri-based healthcare technology company, to "manipulate business transactions and court proceedings in their favor," according to the U.S. attorney's office, reports noted.
Multiple victims suffered millions of dollars in losses from August 2008 to February 2015.
Four additional co-conspirators in separate cases also have pleaded guilty and been sentenced.
To create the illusion that the defendants were associated with Cerner Corp., the conspirators created a business entity for a similarly-named company, Cerner LLC, the reports said.
Conspirators opened a bank account, registered an internet domain and leased virtual office space in Kansas City, Mo., all using the Cerner name, it noted.
They created fictitious employees from Cerner Corp. to communicate with others. Conspirators fabricated documents, price quotes, agreements and invoices, which were all made to appear to be authentic Cerner Corp. documents when they were not, the U.S. attorney said in the report.
Conspirators impersonated Cerner Corp. in the fraudulent sale of a purported newly developed MRI system to Dallas Medical Center. The hospital paid over $1 million to what it believed was Cerner Corp. but turned out to be nothing more than one of Davis' shell companies, the attorney’s office added.
Evidence introduced during the trial indicated that Mitta falsely represented himself as Cerner's senior physicist in meetings with the president of DMC and its attorneys.
When DMC was not acting quickly enough on the deal, conspirators created fake email accounts for prominent cardiologists in Dallas. Conspirators then used the fake accounts to draft emails, which stated that these cardiologists could not wait to get the MRI system at DMC, it said.
Conspirators then forwarded these emails to DMC, which created the impression of demand for the system at DMC, the U.S. attorney said.
Conspirators also provided "references" for DMC to check, which turned out to be more fake doctors and co-conspirators playing the role of satisfied business partners.
Dallas Medical Center eventually learned of the fraud, but it was not the only victim, according to authorities, reports said.
Jurors deliberated only two hours before convicting Mitta, according to the U.S. attorney's office. Under federal statutes, Mitta had been facing up to 20 years in federal prison without parole.