Indian-American man pleads guilty to medicare fraud

indica News Bureau-

Indian-American pleaded guilty to conspiring with the owners of home health care agencies and a hospice agency to pay and receive illegal kickbacks in exchange for Medicare beneficiary referrals announced US Attorney’s office, Eastern District of California.

Sacramento based Jay Vijay, 54, pleaded guilty Feb.6, to conspire with the owners at Assisted Living company along with his wife.

The sentencing is scheduled for April 30, 2020, according to the press release.

According to court documents, Vijay’s wife, Anita Vijay, worked as the social services director at a skilled nursing and assisted living facility in Sacramento. In her role, Anita Vijay assisted Medicare beneficiaries in selecting home health care and hospice agencies following their discharge from the facility. Anita 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 beneficiary referrals, the agencies’ owners paid Jai and Anita illegal cash kickbacks.

For conspiring with health care agencies to receive Medicare kickbacks, Jai faces a maximum statutory penalty of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross loss or gain. U.S. District Judge Troy Nunley is scheduled to sentence Jai Vijay on April 30.

The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court.

In his plea agreement, he admitted that the agencies’ owners paid him and his wife kickbacks in exchange for the referral of approximately 60 beneficiaries. Medicare paid the agencies approximately $400,000 for services they purportedly provided to the beneficiaries. Because the agencies obtained the beneficiary referrals by paying kickbacks, they should not have received any reimbursement from Medicare.

This case is a product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General. Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Thuesen is prosecuting the case.