PHYSICAL THERAPIST PLEADS GUILTY, AGREES TO PAY MORE THAN TWO MILLION DOLLARS IN TREBLE DAMAGES, IN CONNECTION WITH HEALTH CARE FRAUD SCHEME
GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN – Chyawan Bansil, P.T., Ph.D., 60, of Farmington Hills, Michigan pled guilty before U.S. District Judge Robert Holmes Bell to one count of health care fraud and one count of money laundering, U.S. Attorney Donald A. Davis announced today. The plea stems from an Indictment in which the government alleged that between February 2007 and January 2012, Dr. Bansil defrauded Medicare, Medicaid, and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan by billing those programs, or causing those programs to be billed, for expensive nerve conduction studies and needle electromyography tests that Dr. Bansil did not perform. The government also alleged that Dr. Bansil laundered the proceeds of his fraud scheme by withdrawing funds from his individual and corporate bank accounts in the form of cashier’s checks, only to later redeposit those funds into bank accounts that Dr. Bansil controlled.
Along with a written plea agreement, Dr. Bansil will execute a settlement agreement and pay treble damages in the amount of $2,250,000 to resolve the government’s claims that Dr. Bansil defrauded Federal health care programs in violation of the civil False Claims Act. As part of his plea agreement, Dr. Bansil will pay an additional $350,000 in criminal restitution to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, forfeit $156,435.44 in seized funds, and file amended tax returns for 2008 through 2010. As a result of his guilty plea, Dr. Bansil will also be mandatorily excluded from participation in any Federal health care program for a period of at least five years. Dr. Bansil’s sentence will be imposed by Judge Bell on September 27, 2012. Health care fraud and money laundering are each punishable by up to ten years in prison, plus other penalties.
“The U.S. Attorney’s Office is committed to protecting the integrity of public and private health care programs.” U.S. Attorney Davis said. “Billing those programs for services that are not rendered enriches providers at the expense of the public and patients who often do not receive the care they need and deserve. This office will continue to use both criminal and civil proceedings to ensure that all criminal and civil remedies are brought to bear on providers who exploit their patients for their unlawful and selfish financial gain.”
The criminal and civil cases resulted from a joint investigation conducted by the Lansing Police Department, IRS-Criminal Investigation, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, the Office of Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Michigan Attorney General’s Office. “Medicare fraud steals from the taxpayers and diverts scarce dollars that are needed to provide necessary care for legitimate services,” said Lamont Pugh III, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General. “The OIG will continue to work with our law enforcement partners utilizing all remedies available to ensure that those who attack the Medicare program are held accountable.” “American tax dollars are used to fund public programs such as Medicare. Our financial investigators traced the illegal profits in the Bansil investigation and joined forces with the law enforcement community to make sure that this scam was stopped,” said Erick Martinez, Special Agent In Charge of IRS-Criminal Investigation.
The cases were handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Raymond E. Beckering III and Adam B. Townshend..