|TRENTON - Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa announced that a North Jersey doctor with a medical office in Jersey City was sentenced to state prison today for attempting to hire a hit man to kill two people – his lover and his business partner. He also 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, was sentenced to nine years in state prison, including nearly eight years of parole ineligibility under the No Early Release Act, by Superior Court Judge Paul DePascale in Hudson County. Jayaram pleaded guilty on Feb. 27 to two counts of first-degree attempted murder and one count each of second-degree health care claims fraud and third-degree Medicaid fraud. The charges were contained in a June 20, 2011 state grand jury indictment obtained by the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor.
Deputy Attorney General Peter Sepulveda prosecuted Jayaram and handled the sentencing hearing for the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.
“This doctor saw murder as the solution to all of his problems, including a messy affair, a major debt, and a despised business partner who threatened to expose his infidelity,” said Attorney General Chiesa. “Fortunately, Jayaram’s plot to hire a hit man to kill both his lover and his ex-partner was uncovered in time to avoid bloodshed and send him to prison for many years.”
“It is not uncommon for investigations of one type of crime to generate leads about completely different crimes,” said Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Ronald Chillemi. “The key is to be ready for anything and diligently pursue all leads, which is what our detectives did, in partnership with the Jersey City Police. I commend everyone involved for their skill and tenacity in pursuing this case.”
In pleading guilty, 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. Although Jayaram attempted to arrange the murder of the two individuals, neither person was ever in danger since the “hitman” hired by the defendant was actually a confidential informant working for the state and the actions of the defendant and the informant were being closely monitored by state detectives.
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.
Detective Kevin Gannon and Sgt. Frederick Weidman conducted 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.
On May 5, 2011, the New Jersey Board of Medical Examiners temporarily suspended Jayaram’s license to practice medicine in New Jersey.