Ex-LA hospital exec arrested in alleged med fraud
The Associated Press, Jan 30, 2009
LOS ANGELES—The former co-owner of a hospital was arrested Friday on charges stemming from a scheme to recruit homeless people for unnecessary medical treatment to collect millions of dollars from government health programs.
Robert Bourseau, the 74-year-old former chairman of City of Angels Medical Center, was arrested at his downtown home without incident, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Vince Farhat.
A federal grand jury on Thursday indicted Bourseau on charges of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, conspiracy to pay illegal kickbacks to a Skid Row recruiter, and 11 counts of paying kickbacks.
Also named in the indictment was Dante Nicholson, the former vice president of the hospital, and Bourseau’s company that operated City of Angels, Intercare Health Systems, Farhat said.
Nicholson, 51, of Palmdale, will be summoned to an arraignment next month, the U.S. attorney’s office said.
Lawyers for the men could not be immediately reached. Messages seeking comment were left at two phone numbers listed for Bourseau, who also has a home in Rancho Mirage. He made an initial court appearance Friday and was detained pending trial, U.S. attorney’s spokesman Thom Mrozek said. An arraignment was scheduled for Monday.
Bourseau and Nicholson each face a maximum of 65 years in prison if convicted of all charges. Intercare could face fines up to $6 million.
The hospital was sold in December to Success Health Systems, and now operates as Silver Lake Medical Center, Farhat said.
The indictment stems from an alleged scheme in which City of Angels officials paid a recruiter $500,000 over three years to round up homeless people from Skid Row with Medicare or Medi-Cal cards and transport them to the hospital.
The “patients,” who were paid $100 or less,
were usually diagnosed with minor ailments, including yeast infections and dehydration, and the government programs were billed for the medical treatment.
Bourseau’s business partner, Dr. Rudra Sabaratnam, pleaded guilty last year to bilking Medicare and Medi-Cal of $4.1 million from 2004 to 2007. The recruiter, Estill Mitts, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud. money laundering and tax evasion.
Both men are scheduled to be sentenced later this year.
SEE ANOTHER ARTICLE:
HERE…Dr. Rudra Sabaratnam, 64, admitted to paying approximately $493,000 in kickbacks to Estill Mitts, the owner of a skid row-based recruiting storefront facility, and others to recruit homeless patients and take them to the hospital for unnecessary services.