Lab Owner Sentenced to Over 16 Years for Health Care Fraud, Money Laundering

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Lab Owner Sentenced to Over 16 Years for Health Care Fraud, Money Laundering

On September 26, 2023, a US District Judge for the Western District of North Carolina sentenced a Charlotte lab owner, Donald Booker, to over 16 years in prison for his alleged participation in a scheme to defraud the North Carolina Medicaid program of over $11 million. In addition to the prison term, Booker was also ordered to pay over $11 million in restitution.

According to court documents, witness testimony, and evidence presented at the trial, Booker owned a urine toxicology testing laboratory, as well as a company that provided mental health and substance abuse treatment services. Evidence at trial indicated that Booker paid illegal kickbacks to co-conspirators in exchange for urine samples from Medicaid-eligible beneficiaries.

Earlier this year, a federal jury convicted Booker of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and money laundering.

The US Attorney’s Office for the Western District of North Carolina’s press release is available here.

Three Convicted for Gift Card Money Laundering Scheme

On September 26, 2023, a California federal jury convicted three defendants for their alleged participation in laundering the proceeds of consumer fraud schemes through gift card transactions.

According to the US Department of Justice (DOJ), those involved in the scheme made telephone calls during which they instructed individuals to purchase gift cards from retail stores and provide the defendants, and their co-conspirators, with the access information identified on the gift cards. The DOJ alleged that the defendants distributed the gift card account information to other individuals, who then used the gift cards to purchase electronics and additional gift cards. The government also alleged that the defendants intended to conceal that the gift cards were funded with fraudulent proceeds.

The jury convicted the defendants of conspiracy to launder proceeds of wire fraud. The defendants’ sentencing is scheduled for early 2024.

The DOJ press release can be found here.

Owner, Operator of Home Health Company Convicted for $2.8 Million Health Care Fraud

On September 27, 2023, a federal jury in the Eastern District of Michigan convicted Yogesh Pancholi, an owner and operator of a home health company based in Michigan, of engaging in a Medicare fraud scheme. Pancholi allegedly coordinated a $2.8 million Medicare fraud scheme, including conspiring to commit health care fraud and wire fraud, and engaging in money laundering and witness tampering.

According to court documents and trial evidence, Pancholi purchased the home health company using other individuals’ identities — including names, signatures, and personal identifying information — in order to hide that he was the owner of the company. The government alleged that Pancholi and his co-conspirators were paid approximately $2.8 million by Medicare for services that were never provided by the company. After receiving these funds from Medicare, Pancholi allegedly transferred the funds to his personal accounts. Immediately prior to the commencement of the trial, Pancholi was alleged to have used a false identity to write to various federal governmental agencies alleging that a government witness should not be permitted to testify because they committed various crimes.

The defendant was convicted of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and wire fraud, health care fraud, money laundering, aggravated identity theft, and witness tampering.

The DOJ press release can be found here.


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