3 gastroenterologist lawsuits in 1 year

Here are three legal battles involving gastroenterologists that Becker's has reported on in the last year:

1. Nitesh Ratnakar, MD, a gastroenterologist in Wheeling, W.Va., was indicted on charges of tax fraud and obstructing justice after authorities said he failed to pay more than $2.4 million in payroll taxes. Dr. Ratnakar owned and operated a gastroenterology practice and a medical equipment manufacturer. Between 2018 and 2022, he allegedly failed to pay more than $2.4 million in employee withholdings to the IRS. 

2. New York City gastroenterologist Zhi Alan Cheng, MD, now faces three indictments of sexual abuse. Dr. Cheng, who was employed by New York City-based NewYork-Presbyterian Queens from July 2020 to December 2022, faces allegations from a 48-year-old woman who says she was sedated for a colonoscopy at the hospital and woke up to find Dr. Cheng sexually abusing her. Dr. Cheng now faces more than 60 sex crime charges and has pleaded not guilty to each of them. In August, he was charged with 50 new counts in criminal court for drugging and sexually assaulting several women, including a patient. He was arrested in December 2022 after his girlfriend discovered videos of him drugging and assaulting her. 

3. Omar Massoud, MD, PhD, a former Cleveland Clinic gastroenterologist, pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to 18 gross sexual imposition and six unlawful restraint charges. Dr. Massoud, who previously served as the clinic's chief of hepatology, was arrested in December after being charged with six felony counts, three involving sexual assaults on patients.  

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