Dr. Vasso Godiali, a vascular surgeon from Michigan, has been charged in connection with a $60 million health care fraud scheme. In addition to these charges, Godiali is also being charged for laundering over $49 million that he profited from the scheme. According to a press release by the Department of Justice, Godiali’s health care fraud scheme revolved around the submission of fraudulent claims for the placement of stents for dialysis patients, as well as arterial blood clot treatments. Through this scheme Godiali was able to manipulate medical billing software to receive higher reimbursements from Medicare, Medicaid, and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan than his services would normally qualify for. Godiali is also accused of submitting claims for services that he never performed, and for falsifying the complexity of numerous procedures that were performed.
Godiali is also facing charges regarding over $49 million that he allegedly laundered across six corporations using his profits from the health care fraud scheme. These funds were mainly used towards investment accounts which were held at well-known financial institutions. However, Godiali also used these funds to pay property taxes on a residence he owned on Houghton Lake in Michigan.
“This is a large, significant and important prosecution. Health care fraud schemes, such as the one alleged to have been committed by Dr. Godiali, divert millions of dollars from public programs intended to help those in need for the sole purpose of lining the pockets of greedy doctors,” commented United States Attorney Matthew Schneider.
“Flagrant efforts to scam Medicare, Medicaid and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan are despicable in any degree—but particularly so when tens of millions of dollars are involved. Thanks to United States Attorney Matthew Schneider and his team along with the efforts of our own Health Care Fraud Unit and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General staff, which initiated the early investigation into this alleged health care fraud scheme, it has come to a halt,” stated Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel.
“Once it became clear that the potential Medicare fraud exposure in this case was ten times what our own Medicaid fraud exposure was, we reached out to the U.S. Attorney’s Office to increase the depth and breadth of the investigation. I am proud of the efforts of everyone involved and look forward to making sure this doctor never sees another dime of taxpayer money.”
In addition to the health care fraud and money laundering charges, a civil lawsuit has also been filed which would require Godiali to forfeit nearly $40 million.
If found guilty of the health care fraud scheme, Godiali could face up to ten years of imprisonment, as well as a fine of $250,000 for each count. For money laundering, Godiali could face up to twenty years of imprisonment and a fine of up to twice the amount that was laundered.
To learn more about this case or other instances of health care fraud and money laundering, visit the Jeffrey Newman Law Whistleblower Help Center and blog!