Two former executive of Los Angeles’ City of Angels Medical Center were arrested last week and charged with paying homeless people to receive unnecessary medical treatment and, in turn, collecting millions of dollars in government reimbursement.
A grand jury indicted former hospital chairman Robert Bourseau and former vice president Dante Nicholson for paying illegal kickbacks, conspiracy to pay kickbacks, and conspiracy to commit health care fraud. In addition to the prison time facing the two former executives, Intercare Health Systems, the company that operated the hospital, could be liable for up to $6 million in damages.
This is not the first evidence of health care fraud perpetrated by City of Angels personnel. Last year, Dr. Rudra Sabaratnam was indicted and subsequently plead guilty to paying a recruiter to pay homeless people with Medicare or Medi-Cal cards $100 or less to be transported to the hospital and unnecessarily treated for minor ailments. Sabaratnam paid recruiter Estill Mitts, who was also indicted last year, $500,000 from 2004 to 2007 to perpetrate the scheme, and Medicare and Medi-Cal were fraudulently billed for $4.1 million during the timeframe.