Richard Davidson, a former doctor from Delray Beach, Florida, was sentenced to six years in federal prison for conspiracy to commit health care fraud. In 2018, Davidson and his conspirators established several durable medical equipment supply companies in the names of straw owners. By concealing the companies’ true ownership, the conspirators were able to submit high volumes of illegal claims, resulting in more than $10 million in payments from Medicare and CHAMPVA.
Glenn Chin, a former supervisory pharmacist of the now-defunct New England Compounding Center, was resentenced to 126 months in prison and three years of supervised release and ordered to pay forfeiture of approximately $473,584 and restitution of $82 million. In 2012, 753 patients were diagnosed with a fungal infection after receiving injections of methylprednisolone acetate manufactured by the center, and more than 100 patients died as a result. The outbreak was the largest public health crisis ever caused by a contaminated pharmaceutical drug.
John Paul Cook, 57, of Alexander, North Carolina, pleaded guilty to defrauding the VA. After enlisting in the Army in 1985, Cook sustained an accidental injury and complained the injury worsened a preexisting eye condition. In 1987, Cook was discharged and he began receiving benefits that would increase over the next 30 years due to Cook’s repeated false claims of increased visual impairment and unemployability. In 2005, the VA declared Cook legally blind and he began receiving disability-based compensation at the maximum rate despite repeatedly passing vision screening tests to obtain or renew his driver’s license and purchasing vehicles that he routinely drove.
Johnny Ray Gasca, 51, was arrested for allegedly abducting a 68-year-old woman with dementia from the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center in California. A witness recognized Gasca and reported he may have previously taken money from the woman’s bank and retirement accounts. Following his arrest, Gasca described the victim as his girlfriend and told agents that, after leaving the medical center, they stopped at a bank where the victim made a $15,000 withdrawal.
Melvin Greenspan, 72, of Perrineville, New Jersey, pleaded guilty to defrauding VA of over $200,000 in survivor’s pension benefits. After the death of his mother in 2006, who had received survivor’s pension due to his father’s prior military service, Greenspan failed to notify the VA about his mother’s death and made withdrawals of the benefits through 2018.
Susan K. Harris, 74, and William S. Harris, 60, were sentenced to 47 years and 15 years in prison, respectively, for conspiracy to defraud the United States and other financial crimes committed in connection with the operation of Ayudando Guardians, Inc., a non-profit corporation that previously provided guardianship, conservatorship, and financial management to hundreds of people with special needs, including veterans. As president, Susan Harris unlawfully transferred money from client accounts to a comingled account without any client-based justification. The stolen funds were used to fund an extravagant lifestyle, including the purchases of homes, vehicles, luxury RVs, and cruises.
Robert Seifert, 63, of Utica, New York, pleaded guilty to making telephonic threats to employees of the Albany Stratton VA Medical Center. Seifert, who has been convicted twice before of threatening VA employees, admitted that on January 14, 2021, he made three calls to employees for no reason other than to harass and threaten them.
The former owner of the now-defunct New England Compounding Center was resentenced today in federal court in Boston in connection with the 2012 nationwide fungal meningitis outbreak. Barry Cadden, 54, previously of Wrentham, was sentenced to 174 months in prison. Cadden was also ordered to pay forfeiture of $1.4 million and restitution of $82 million. The defendant was resentenced after the First Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed his criminal convictions but vacated his sentence and forfeiture order.
A former pharmacy procurement technician was indicted today for stealing prescription HIV medications from the pharmacy of the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in East Orange, New Jersey. Lisa M. Hoffman, 48, of Orange, is charged by indictment with one count each of conspiracy, theft of government property, and theft of medical products.
Mende Leone, 37, pleaded guilty to misappropriation of a federal benefit by a fiduciary. As her uncle’s appointed fiduciary, Leone stole at least $151,000 of VA benefits intended for him.
Kristopher M. Voyles, 31, was sentenced to 27 months in prison, three years’ supervised release, and restitution of $20,502. Voyles is not a veteran; however, he used the name, date of birth, and social security number of a veteran to receive medical services at the James H. Quillen VA Medical Center in Johnson City, Tennessee, in October 2019.
Dr. Kenneth C. Ramdat admitted to assaulting two employees while employed at the Louis A. Johnson VA Hospital in Clarksburg, West Virginia. Ramdat was sentenced to one year of probation.
A compound pharmacy owner in Texas, three marketers, a referring physician, and two clinic employees were charged with health care fraud, conspiracy to pay and receive illegal kickbacks, and conspiracy to commit money laundering in connection with a multi-million dollar scheme. From May 2014 to September 2016, Pharr Family Pharmacy allegedly billed federal health care programs more than $110 million, including claims that were false, fraudulent, and the result of illegal kickbacks.
Robert S. Stewart, the former owner of Federal Government Experts LLC in Arlington, Virginia, was sentenced to 21 months in prison with three years of supervised release for making false statements to multiple federal agencies in order to fraudulently obtain multimillion-dollar government contracts, COVID-19 emergency relief loans, and undeserved military service benefits.
Francis Engles of Bowie, Maryland, was sentenced to 30 months in prison and ordered to pay $150,000 in restitution for defrauding a VA program dedicated to rehabilitating military veterans with disabilities. As the owner of Engles Security Training School, Engles falsely represented to the VA that his company was providing veterans with months-long courses when, in fact, the school offered veterans far less.
Muhammad Z. Aabdin of Bronx, New York, was indicted for offering bribes to a VA contracting officer in exchange for the award of VA contracts for personal protective equipment.
Daniel Devaty of Elyria, Ohio, was charged with influencing a federal official by threatening a family member. Devaty allegedly sent a text message to the cell phone of a VA social worker threatening to kill his daughters.
Robert Sampson of Gulf Breeze, Florida, pleaded guilty to charges of video voyeurism and disorderly conduct. Sampson secretly recorded eight fellow VA employees using a hidden camera, disguised to look like a cell phone charger power adapter, that he placed in a restroom at the VA Joint Ambulatory Care Center in Pensacola on multiple occasions from August 2019 to June 2020.
Erik Santos of Georgia was sentenced to over 11 years in federal prison for defrauding Tricare of approximately $12 million through a compounding pharmacy fraud scheme. In January 2021, Santos pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to commit healthcare fraud and wire fraud.
A federal grand jury charged Mark Schena, the president of the California-based medical technology company, Arrayit Corporation, in connection with the submission of over $70 million in false and fraudulent claims for allergy and COVID-19 testing. Additionally, a criminal information was filed against both Paul Haje, Arrayit’s vice president of marketing, and Marc Jablonski, president of an Arizona-based marketing organization, in related schemes. The new charges are part of coordinated law enforcement actions filed in seven federal districts in response to alleged schemes that have exploited the COVID-19 pandemic.