(CTN News) – A US court sentenced an Indian man to nine years in prison for his role in a huge healthcare scam that cost Medicare about $2.8 million.
Yogesh K Pancholi, 43, of Northville, Michigan, was found guilty of multiple other crimes, including wire fraud conspiracy, money laundering, identity theft, and witness tampering.
According to a news release from the Department of Justice, Pancholi owned and operated Shring Home Care Inc, a home health company in Livonia, Michigan.
However, Pancholi was prohibited from charging Medicare, so he used other people’s personal information to conceal his company ownership.
He and his accomplices then submitted bogus claims to Medicare for home health services that were never provided, receiving over $2.8 million in payments in just two months.
Pancholi then laundered the money through several shell businesses before transferring it to his Indian bank accounts.
He also attempted to obstruct the inquiry by sending anonymous emails to federal agencies, accusing a government witness of committing crimes, and demanding that the witness be deported.
In those emails, he claimed that a government witness had committed several crimes and should not be allowed to remain in the United States to prevent the witness from testifying.
In September 2023, following a trial in the Eastern District of Michigan, the jury found him guilty of all charges.
The FBI Detroit Field Office and the HHS-OIG investigated Pancholi’s case.
The investigation was part of the Health Care Fraud Strike Force Programme, a cooperative endeavour by the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and other federal agencies to combat healthcare fraud.
The programme, which began in March 2007, includes nine strike groups in 27 federal districts and has charged over 5,400 individuals, totalling more than $27 billion in billings to federal healthcare programmes and commercial insurance.