Physicians Vilasini Ganesh, 47, and Gregory Belcher, 56, were convicted in December of committing health care fraud and making false statements to health care programs. A federal jury found Ganesh guilty of five counts of health care fraud and five counts of making false statements relating to fraudulently submitted claims. Belcher was found guilty of one count of making a false statement regarding a health care benefit program. Both were acquitted of conspiracy and money laundering charges.
Health Care Fraud and False Statements
Evidence presented at trial showed Ganesh, who was the head of Campbell Medical Group, submitted false and fraudulent claims to several health benefit programs for services. She submitted claims for days when patients had not seen a health care provider and claims that patients had been seen by another physician who was no longer with her practice.
Evidence also showed that Belcher submitted at least one false claim related to a billing matter for his physical therapy practice.
The Legal Process
After a two-year investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), a federal grand jury indicted Ganesh and Belcher for multiple crimes in July 2017. They were charged with:
- One count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, 18 U.S.C. § 1349
- One count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, 18 U.S.C. § 1956(h)
- Multiple counts of health care fraud, 18 U.S.C. § 1347
- Two counts of making false statements relating to health care matters, 18 U.S.C. § 1035
The guilty verdicts were handed down on December 14, after an eight-week jury trial. Ganesh and Belcher are currently not in custody after being released on bond. Their sentencing hearing is set for April 2018.
Ganesh, who was convicted on multiple counts of health care fraud, faces up to 10 years and a fine up to $250,000 for each count. For making false statements relating to health care matters, Ganesh and Belcher face up to five years in prison and a fine up to $250,000 for each count. They may also be ordered to pay restitution to the health care benefit programs.
Do You Have Information About Health Care Fraud?
While the case against Ganesh and Belcher arises from an FBI investigation, many instances of health care fraud are discovered by private citizens coming forward with information. If you have documentation or other evidence that your employer is fraudulently billing a federal or state health care program, such as Medicare or Medi-Cal, you should speak with an experience San Francisco health care attorney at Brod Law Firm.
If the information you have is strong evidence of health care fraud, you may have the right to file a qui tam suit under the False Claims Act. If you choose to be a whistleblower and the government ultimately reaches a settlement or obtains a jury award, you may be entitled to a part of that compensation.
To learn more about your rights and options when you learn about health care fraud, call Brod Law Firm at (800) 427-7020 and schedule a free consultation.
(image courtesy of Vladimir Kudinov)