Indian national sentenced for nearly $2.8mn healthcare fraud in US

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Indian national sentenced for nearly $2.8mn healthcare fraud in US
New York: A 43-year-old Indian national in the US state of Michigan has been sentenced to nine years in prison for orchestrating a nearly $2.8 million healthcare fraud.

Yogesh K Pancholi from Northville was also found guilty of wire fraud conspiracy, engaging in money laundering, aggravated identity theft, and witness tampering.

According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Pancholi owned and operated Shring Home Care Inc, a home health company based in Livonia, Michigan, a Department of Justice release said.

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.

In those emails, he alleged a government witness had committed various crimes and should not be allowed to remain in the US in an attempt to keep the witness from testifying.

In September 2023, a federal jury in the Eastern District of Michigan convicted Pancholi of conspiracy to commit healthcare and wire fraud, two substantive counts of healthcare fraud, two counts of money laundering, two counts of aggravated identity theft, and one count of witness tampering.

Pacholi’s case was investigated by the FBI Detroit Field Office and the Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General (HHS-OIG).

The Justice Department’s Criminal Division has been making efforts to combat healthcare fraud through the Health Care Fraud Strike Force Program.

Since March 2007, this program, currently comprised of nine strike forces operating in 27 federal districts, has charged more than 5,400 defendants who collectively have billed federal healthcare programs and private insurers more than $27 billion.

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