Dozens of people and two healthcare providers are accused of carrying out a multi-million-dollar kickback scheme in California, the Justice Department said Thursday.
The Justice Department announced Thursday that two health care providers and 28 people— including a CEO of one of the companies, a social worker, five nurses, and 13 doctors— were involved in a $115 million Medicare kickback scheme.
Prosecutors with the DOJ say that Amity Home Health Care— the largest home healthcare provider in the San Francisco Bay Area— bribed more than two dozen defendants in a scheme where they would receive kickbacks disguised as payroll, phony medical directorships, “gifts,” “reimbursements,” or “entertainment.”
They would do this so the referrals would go back to Amity and another healthcare provider that provides hospice services, called Advent Care.
Each of these healthcare companies would then bill for those services. The bribes were then billed as legitimate Medicare payments totaling $115 million over the years.
The CEO of Amity, Amanda Singh, allegedly used “cash” and “gifts” to bribe marketers and instructed them “to take clients out to elaborate meals, sporting events and purchase gifts for individuals willing to provide Amity with patients.”
Every single defendant was recorded as accepting the kickbacks in some form or another, according to complaints.
“The complaints allege a scheme for doctors, nurses and other medical care professionals to trade patients for cash,” U.S. Attorney David Anderson said. “This is the largest cash-for-patients scheme ever charged criminally in the Northern District of California.”
If found guilty, the defendants could face up to ten years behind bars and a $500,000 fine.
Singh could also face up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for lying to investigators, and an additional 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for witness tampering.
The corporations could also be subject to a $1 million fine for each violation.