Saratoga Doctor Sentenced To More Than Five Years In Prison For Lying Related To Health Care Matters And Providing False Billing Statements To Health Care Benefit Programs
SAN JOSE- Vilasini Ganesh was sentenced today to 63 months in prison for making false statements related to a health care benefits program, announced United States Attorney Alex G. Tse and Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge John F. Bennett. The sentence was handed down by the Honorable Lucy H. Koh, U.S. District Judge.
Ganesh, 47, and her husband Gregory Belcher, 56, both of Saratoga, Calif., were convicted of the charges on December 15, 2017, after an eight-week trial. The evidence at trial demonstrated Ganesh submitted a series of false medical claims related to the family medical practice she owned, Campbell Medical Group in Saratoga. For example, Ganesh submitted claims for days when a patient had not been seen by the provider and claims for patients who had been seen by a physician provider who no longer was affiliated with her practice. Additionally, Ganesh billed insurers with claims that certain patients were seen twelve to fifteen times in a single month.
On July 13, 2017, a federal grand jury indicted Ganesh and Belcher, charging them with one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1349; one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1956(h); multiple counts health care fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1347 and 2; and making a false statement relating to health care matters, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1035. The jury convicted Belcher of one count of making a false statement related to health care matters and convicted Ganesh of five counts of health care fraud and five counts of making false statements. The jury acquitted defendants of the remaining counts.
During Ganesh’s sentencing hearing, Judge Koh stated that Ganesh obstructed justice by misrepresenting her understanding of the legal system, the amount of money she was paid by insurers, and whether she understood that it was improper to “upcharge” when submitting claims to insurers. Judge Koh also found that Ganesh had abused a position of trust by submitting the false claims. In addition to the prison term, Judge Koh sentenced Ganesh to a 3-year term of supervised release and ordered the defendant to pay restitution in the amount of $344,916.20. Ganesh will begin serving the prison sentence on November 1, 2018.
On April 4, 2018, Judge Koh sentenced Belcher to a year and a day in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Patrick Delahunty and Jeff Nedrow are prosecuting the case with the assistance of Susan Kreider and Nina Burney Williams. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.