An Indian American woman doctor from Saratoga, California, was convicted on multiple charges of healthcare fraud, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office for Northern California.
The jury found Vilasini Ganesh, the 47-year-old head of the Campbell Medical Group, guilty of five counts of health care fraud and five counts of making false statements relating to claims fraudulently submitted to health care benefit programs. Ganesh and her business partner Gregory Belcher illicitly billed patients and insurance companies for underperformed services, exaggerated treatments or for patients they did not see.
The duo used their practice “to unlawfully enrich themselves,” according to an statement by the department. They were said to have diverted proceeds from the fraud for their personal use.
When patients or the healthcare benefit program representatives wanted to see the documentation or additional information to substantiate the claims that were being submitted at her direction and on her behalf, Ganesh either directed her office staff to have no further discussions with anyone about the claims or to simply resubmit the false information.
According to patients’ reviews on Yelp.com, her office would repeatedly send bills to them that either the insurance would have covered or for services that they did not seek.
Belcher, another Campbell Medical Group partner and doctor, was convicted of one count of making false statements relating to health care matters, the U.S. attorney’s office said on Dec. 15. The duo was acquitted of conspiracy and money laundering counts, and Belcher was also acquitted of four other health care fraud counts and one other count of making a false statement relating to a health care benefit program.
Ganesh submitted false and fraudulent claims to several health care benefit programs for services that she knew were not properly payable, by including claims for days when the patient had not been seen by the provider, and claims that the patients had been seen by another physician provider who was no longer affiliated with her practice.
The defendants also maintained multiple bank accounts through which they are said to have attempted to conceal the nature and source of the illegally obtained funds which resulted from their scheme to defraud people.
Ganesh is out on a $350,000 bond. The case is a result of a two-year long investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).