iNDICA NEWS BUREAU-
An Indian American social worker from Sacramento, pleaded guilty for making unlawful deals to ensure beneficiary referrals with her clients.
Anita Vijay, 50, confessed today on September 11, to conspiring to pay and receive illegal kickbacks in exchange for Medicare beneficiary referrals, said United States Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.
According to court documents, Anita Vijay worked as the Social Services Director at a skilled nursing and assisted living facility in Sacramento.
In her role, Anita assisted Medicare beneficiaries in selecting home health care and hospice agencies following their discharge from the facility. She used her position to steer Medicare beneficiaries to home health agencies in Folsom and El Dorado Hills and a hospice agency in Folsom. In exchange for the referrals, the agencies’ owners paid her and her husband, Jai Vijay, illegal cash kickbacks.
In her plea agreement, Anita admitted to getting kickbacks from approximately 60 beneficiaries. Medicare paid the agencies approximately $400,000 for services they purportedly provided to the beneficiaries. Because the agencies obtained the referrals by paying kickbacks, they should not have received any reimbursement from Medicare.
This offence has cost Anita all her reputation and respectability built of over the years.
U.S. District Judge Troy L. Nunley is scheduled to sentence Anita Vijay on December 3, 2020.
As a maximum penalty, she could face a total of 15 years in prison; five years for the conspiracy charge and ten years for the kickback charge. In addition, Anita might also have to cash out a maximum penalty fine of $250,000 or twice the gross loss or gain. However, the actual sentence could be different and determined after consideration of various factors.
On February 6, 2020, Jai Vijay her husband, also pled guilty to conspiracy to pay and receive kickbacks in exchange for Medicare beneficiary referrals.