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PHYSICAL THERAPIST Ph.D. SENTENCED TO 13 MONTHS OF PRISON AND PAYS MORE THAN $3 MILLON DOLLARS IN RESTITUTION, CIVIL PENALTIES, AND BACK TAXES

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 29, 2012

           GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN – U.S. District Judge Robert Holmes Bell sentenced Chyawan Bansil, P.T., Ph.D., 61, of Farmington Hills, Michigan to 13 months prison on charges of health care fraud and money laundering, U.S. Attorney Patrick A. Miles, Jr. announced today. The convictions arise from an Indictment which charged that between February 2007 and January 2012, Dr. Bansil defrauded Medicare, Medicaid, and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan of more than $1 million by causing those programs to be billed for expensive nerve conduction studies and needle electromyography tests that Dr. Bansil did not perform.

           The case against Dr. Bansil 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. The billing fraud was initially discovered by officers from the Lansing Police Department and personnel from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan who were investigating prescription drug diversion in Lansing, Michigan. After undercover Lansing Police officers received suspicious services from Dr. Bansil at a physician’s office in Lansing, federal investigators examined both the medical practices as well as the financial records of Dr. Bansil and confirmed that Dr. Bansil was billing for services that he did not perform and was illegally laundering the proceeds of his fraud scheme in order to avoid taxes.

           At the sentencing hearing in held in Grand Rapids, Judge Bell noted that Dr. Bansil violated the trust of patients and “worsened the health care crisis” in this country. As part of his plea agreement, Dr. Bansil forfeited over $500,000 in assets which had been seized by the government and paid an additional $2.25 million dollars in treble damages to resolve related civil claims under the False Claims Act. Dr. Bansil also paid almost $250,000 in back taxes that were uncovered by the IRS during the investigation. Dr. Bansil was also ordered to serve one year of supervised release following his incarceration and will be excluded from participating with Medicare and Medicaid for a minimum of five years.

           “The Western District of Michigan’s U.S. Attorney’s Office is protecting the integrity of America’s public and private health care programs,” U.S. Attorney Miles said. “Billing those programs for services that are not rendered wrongly enriches providers and harms taxpayers and patients. This office will continue to pursue both criminal and civil proceedings, and employ the resources of our law enforcement and private insurance partners, to ensure criminal and civil remedies are brought to bear on providers who exploit their patients for unlawful and selfish financial gain. Those who attempt to defraud the system will suffer the specter of incarceration, treble damages, civil penalties, forfeiture, and future exclusion from participating with Medicare and Medicaid.”

           “This case is a classic example of an individual being motivated by pure greed and demonstrating his willingness to tell lies to get to money”, said Lamont Pugh III, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, Chicago Region -- which includes the state of Michigan. “The investigation of this matter demonstrates the high level of cooperation and coordination that exists between the OIG and our investigative partners. Those who seek to defraud federal and/or private health care programs should know that many eyes are upon them.”

           “American tax dollars are used to fund public programs such as Medicare and Medicaid. By tracing the profits in the Bansil case, IRS personnel provided the grounds for the initial seizure of over $500,000 of illegal proceeds and spurred Dr. Bansil to pay substantial back taxes,” said Erick Martinez, Special Agent In Charge of IRS-Criminal Investigation.

           The case was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Raymond E. Beckering III and Adam B. Townshend.

END

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