(YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio) -- Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine today announced that the owner and president of Alpine Nursing Care, Inc. in North Randall, Ohio, will spend two years in prison after his conviction on federal health care fraud charges.
United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio Judge Benita Pearson also sentenced Divyesh "David" Patel, 39, yesterday to pay $1.9 million in restitution to the Ohio Department of Medicaid. Patel pleaded guilty in April to one count of Conspiracy to Commit Health Care Fraud and four counts of Health Care Fraud.
"This defendant manipulated the system, filling his bank account with millions of taxpayer dollars that should have been used to help Medicaid recipients," said Attorney General DeWine.
Investigators with the Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, along with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of the Inspector General, found that between June 1, 2006, and October 18, 2009, Patel and an employee conspired to defraud Medicaid by billing for millions of dollars' worth of health care services that were never provided or improperly billed.
Patel's employee, Belita Bush, pleaded guilty to charges of Making a False Statement to a Federal Agency and False Statements Relating to a Health Benefit Program in March in connection with the investigation. Authorities found that Patel knowingly hired Bush to submit Alpine's billings to Medicaid, despite knowing that Bush was excluded from the Medicaid program in April 2005 due to a previous health care fraud conviction. Bush is scheduled to be sentenced in August.
The cases were jointly prosecuted by attorneys with the Attorney General's Health Care Fraud Section and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Ohio.
Since taking office as Ohio's Attorney General in January 2011, Attorney General DeWine's Health Care Fraud Section has opened more than 1,300 cases involving Medicaid fraud. Ohioans can report suspected Medicaid fraud to Attorney General DeWine's office by calling 1-800-282-0515 or visiting www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov.
Dan Tierney: 614-466-3840
Jill Del Greco: 614-466-3840