Owner Of South Haven Home Health Care Company Sentenced To Five Years Of Prison For Health Care Fraud
GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN – U.S. Attorney Andrew Birge announced today that Kenneth Nash, the owner of a South Haven home health agency, was sentenced to sixty-three months in federal prison. Nash pled guilty to health care fraud on October 28, 2020, admitting that his company, Universal Home Health Care, submitted claims for home health services totaling more than $750,000 when no physician had approved the services but, instead, employees forged physician signatures at Nash’s direction and with his knowledge. The federal investigation further revealed that Universal also billed Medicare for services that were not provided and that were medically unnecessary, as some of the patients were not homebound. At the sentencing hearing in Kalamazoo, Michigan, United States District Judge Paul L. Maloney also imposed three years of supervised release following imprisonment and a restitution order of $755,628.52.
Upon the execution of federal search and seizure warrants in June of 2018, Nash closed the business and forfeited two Mercedes Benzes, a Land Rover, an Aston Martin, a Jaguar convertible, and a motorhome that had been purchased with proceeds from the fraud. In imposing a sentencing at the high end of the sentencing guidelines, Judge Maloney noted that Nash had a history of prior fraud convictions, that this offense involved a large loss to a government program, and that other health care providers needed to be deterred from defrauding Medicare.
U.S. Attorney Andrew Birge noted that “This sentence should serve as a warning to others in the health care industry that fraudulent billing has significant consequences. Mr. Nash has had to give up all he gained from his scheme and now his freedom as well.”
“Healthcare fraud is not a victimless crime,” said Lamont Pugh III, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Office of Inspector General – Chicago Region. “Medically unnecessary services can adversely impact a patient’s well-being and false and/or fraudulent billings waste limited tax-payer dollars that support federally funded programs such as Medicare and Medicaid. The OIG will continue to work to identify, investigate and hold accountable those who choose to engage in these criminal acts.”
“This sentence sends an unambiguous message that those who cheat Medicare will be held accountable," said Timothy Waters, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Michigan. "These taxpayer-funded programs are designed to provide essential medical services to the elderly, not to enrich corrupt health care professionals and other fraudsters."
The investigation was conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Michigan. Assistant U.S. Attorney Raymond E. Beckering III represented the United States.
Health care fraud costs all taxpayers and can be associated with harm to patients. You can report suspected health care fraud at https://tips.oig.hhs.gov/ or by calling the U.S. Attorney’s Office at (616) 456-2404 and requesting to speak with a health care fraud investigator.