A federal jury in the Eastern District of Michigan convicted an Indian national today for orchestrating a $2.8 million health care fraud and wire fraud conspiracy, and engaging in money laundering, aggravated identity theft, and witness tampering.
According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Yogesh Pancholi, 43, of Northville, Michigan, owned and operated Shring Home Care Inc. (Shring), a home health company based in Livonia, Michigan. Despite being excluded from billing Medicare, Pancholi purchased Shring using the names, signatures, and personal identifying information of others to conceal his ownership of the company. In a two-month period, Pancholi and his co-conspirators billed and were paid nearly $2.8 million by Medicare for services that were never provided. Pancholi then transferred these funds through bank accounts belonging to shell corporations and eventually into his accounts in India. After being indicted, and on the eve of trial, Pancholi, using a pseudonym, wrote false and malicious emails to various federal government agencies alleging a government witness had committed various crimes and should not be allowed to remain in the United States in an attempt to keep the witness from testifying.
The jury convicted Pancholi of conspiracy to commit health care and wire fraud, two counts of substantive health care fraud, two counts of money laundering, two counts of aggravated identity theft, and one count of witness tampering. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 10, 2024, and faces a mandatory minimum penalty of two years in prison for aggravated identity theft, a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison on each of the conspiracy and witness tampering convictions, and a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison on each of the health care fraud and money laundering counts. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicole M. Argentieri of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Acting Special Agent in Charge Devin J. Kowalski of the FBI Detroit Field Office, and Special Agent in Charge Mario Pinto of the Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General (HHS-OIG) made the announcement.
The FBI Detroit Field Office and HHS-OIG investigated the case.
Trial Attorneys Shankar Ramamurthy and Andres Almendarez of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section are prosecuting the case, with assistance from Trial Attorney Kathleen Cooperstein. Trial Attorney Patrick Suter investigated and originally charged the case.
The Fraud Section leads the Criminal Division’s efforts to combat health care fraud through the Health Care Fraud Strike Force Program. Since March 2007, this program, comprised of 15 strike forces operating in 25 federal districts, has charged more than 5,000 defendants who collectively have billed federal health care programs and private insurers more than $24 billion. In addition, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, working in conjunction with the Office of the Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services, are taking steps to hold providers accountable for their involvement in health care fraud schemes. More information can be found at www.justice.gov/criminal-fraud/health-care-fraud-unit.
Official news published at https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/owner-home-health-company-convicted-28m-medicare-fraud-scheme