Headlines that Matter for Companies and Executives in Regulated Industries
Surgeon To Pay Up to $43 Million for FCA Fraud
A Michigan vascular surgeon, Vasso Godiali, was sentenced to 80 months in prison for defrauding health care programs in connection with his submission of false claims for the placement of vascular stents and thrombectomies.
Around 2009, Godiali began billing for medical services he did not perform, including the placement of multiple vascular stents in the same blood vessel and thrombectomy procedures. Godiali falsified medical records for years, and his fraudulent practices resulted in over $14 million in damage to the federal government and $19.5 million across Medicare, Medicaid, and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.
Godiali entered into a plea agreement on February 2, 2022, and agreed to pay up to $43.3 million to resolve civil allegations related to False Claims Act violations (FCA).
The case is US ex rel. Innovative Solutions Consulting LLC v. Vasso Godziachvili Godiali, MD, Case No. 1:15-cv-14150-TLL-PTM (ED Mich.).
California Restaurant Owners Charged With COVID-Relief Fraud
California restaurant owners, Leronce Suel and Ravae Smith, were charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering for allegedly underreporting gross receipts on tax returns filled in connection with the COVID-related Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Restaurant Revitalization Funding loans.
From March 2020 to June 2022, Suel and Smith allegedly made materially false statements on loan applications, underreported over $1.7 million in gross receipts, and made substantial cash withdrawals from their business bank accounts to launder fraudulently obtained funds and conceal over $2.4 million in cash. If convicted, Suel and Smith face a maximum of 30 years in prison for wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud and a maximum of 10 years in prison for money laundering.
Read the US Department of Justice’s (DOJ) press release here.
Man Charged in $45 Million CoinDeal Fraud Scheme
A Nevada man, Bryan Lee, was charged with conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud, and engaging in monetary transactions in criminally derived property for his alleged participation in an investment fraud scheme that allegedly defrauded over 10,000 victims of more than $45 million.
Lee is alleged to have conspired with Neil Chandran, who was arrested and charged in June 2022 for his alleged participation, and other individuals to defraud investors in virtual-world technology companies controlled by Chandran by falsely promising high returns due to an impending acquisition. However, after receiving millions of dollars’ worth of investor funds, Lee and Chandran allegedly used the funds on luxury cars and real estate. Michael Glaspie pled guilty to wire fraud in February 2023 for his role in fraudulently marketing investments in Chandran’s companies under the name “CoinDeal” and is scheduled for sentencing on June 16.
Read the DOJ’s press release here.