Corporate Compliance

Former CA hospital executive pleads guilty to 'Skid Row' fraud scheme

Compliance Monitor, June 24, 2009

Robert Bourseau, former board member and co-owner of City of Angels Medical Center in Los Angeles, pleaded guilty to kickback charges in connection with a scheme designed to defraud Medicare and Medi-Cal, according to a Department of Justice release.
According to the DOJ, Bourseau entered into sham contracts designed to conceal kickbacks paid to the operator of a homeless center. The operator referred homeless people to the hospital for inpatient stays that were not medically necessary.
Bourseau’s co-conspirators include: 
  • Estill Mills, operator of the center that recruited homeless people (pleaded guilty in September 2008 to conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud, money laundering, and tax evasion)
  • Rudra Sabaratnam, former operator of City of Angels Medical Center (pleaded guilty to paying illegal kickbacks for patient referrals in December 2008)
  • Dante Nicholson, a former senior vice president at City of Angels (pleaded guilty to paying kickbacks for patient referrals in March 2009) 
Mitts, Sabaratnum, and Nicholson are scheduled to be sentenced on August 17, 2009. Bourseau agreed to pay over $4.1 million in restitution to Medicare and Medi-Cal, and was also ordered to appear at sentencing in September.

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