TRENTON - Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa announced that a North Jersey doctor with a medical office in Jersey City pleaded guilty today to first-degree attempted murder after he tried to hire a hit man to kill two people – his lover and his business partner. He also pleaded guilty to charges that he defrauded the Medicaid program.
Dr. Ajit Jayaram, 65, of Englewood, a licensed physician whose internal medicine practice is at 295 Martin Luther King Drive in Jersey City, pleaded guilty today to two counts of first-degree attempted murder and one count each of second-degree health care claims fraud and third-degree Medicaid fraud before Superior Court Judge Paul DePascale in Hudson County. The charges were contained in a June 20, 2011 state grand jury indictment. On May 5, 2011, the New Jersey Board of Medical Examiners temporarily suspended Jayaram’s license to practice medicine in New Jersey.
“Dr. Jayaram attempted to solve his business problems and cover up an extramarital affair with cold-blooded murder,” Attorney General Chiesa said. “I commend the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor and the Jersey City Police Department for taking this dangerous man off of the streets.”
“This office will follow an investigation wherever it leads, even unexpected routes such as this one in which Dr. Jayaram’s illegal activity escalated from Medicaid fraud to attempted murder,” Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Ronald Chillemi said.
Judge DePascale scheduled sentencing for April 12. Under the plea agreement, the state will recommend that Jayaram be sentenced to nine years in state prison of which 85% must be served before he is eligible for parole under the No Early Release Act. Following the prison sentence, he will be under parole supervision for five years.
In pleading guilty today, Jayaram admitted that between Aug. 28 and Oct. 10, 2010, he attempted to hire a man to kill his lover, Radha Ramaswamy, and a pharmacist, Mukhtar Ahmed. An investigation determined that Jayaram owes Ramaswamy $250,000 and was worried his wife would learn of their affair. Jayaram and Ahmed had a prior failed business relationship and were involved in ongoing disputes over a woman.
In pleading guilty, Jayaram also admitted that on at least three occasions between March 1, 2010 and Nov. 1, 2010, he knowingly received payments from Medicaid for claims for medical examinations, procedures or tests that were never performed or were not medically necessary. Jayaram further admitted that during that time period, he paid six individuals each time they came to his office so that he could fraudulently bill Medicaid for services not provided. Jayaram was charged as a result of a Medicaid fraud investigation called Operation MedScam, conducted by the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor and the Jersey City Police Department.
Deputy Attorney General Peter Sepulveda represented the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit at the guilty plea hearing. Detective Kevin Gannon and Sgt. Frederick Weidman handled the investigation for the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor.
The following members of the Jersey City Police Department’s Special Investigation Unit were assigned to the investigation, under the supervision of Chief Thomas Comey: Lt. Fred Younger, Sgt. Anthony Musante, Sgt. Ed Nestor, Detective Wael Shahid, Detective Jeff Guilfoyle, Detective Vincent Disbrow, Police Officer Alex Torres, Police Officer Chris Dolan, Police Officer Eamon Nally, Police Officer Joseph Anzivino and Detective Erik Infantes.
Attorney General Chiesa thanked Assistant Prosecutor Michael D’Andrea and other members of the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office under the supervision of former Prosecutor Edward J. DeFazio for their valuable assistance.