Indian-American in Sacramento pleads guilty to Medicare fraud

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Anita Vijay, 50, of Sacramento, pleaded guilty Sept. 10, 2020, to conspiring to pay and receive illegal kickbacks in exchange for Medicare beneficiary referrals and to soliciting kickbacks in exchange for Medicare beneficiary referrals.

The announcement about the guilty plea was made by United States Attorney McGregor W. Scott in a press release, which also said that U.S. District Judge Troy L. Nunley is scheduled to sentence Anita Vijay on December 3, 2020.

She faces maximum statutory penalties of five years in prison for the conspiracy charge and ten years in prison for the kickback charge. Anita Vijay also faces a maximum fine of $250,000 or twice the gross loss or gain.

According to court documents referred to in the press release, Anita Vijay worked as the Social Services Director at a skilled nursing and assisted living facility in Sacramento. In her role, Vijay assisted Medicare beneficiaries in selecting home health care and hospice agencies following their discharge from the facility. Vijay used her position to steer Medicare beneficiaries to home health agencies in Folsom and El Dorado Hills and a hospice agency in Folsom. In exchange for the referrals, the agencies’ owners paid her and her husband, Jai Vijay, illegal cash kickbacks.

In her plea agreement, Vijay admitted that the agencies’ owners paid her and her husband kickbacks in exchange for the referral of approximately 60 beneficiaries. Medicare paid the agencies approximately $400,000 for services they purportedly provided to the beneficiaries. Because the agencies obtained the referrals by paying kickbacks, they should not have received any reimbursement from Medicare.

On February 6, 2020, Anita Vijay’s husband, Jai Vijay, pled guilty to conspiracy to pay and receive kickbacks in exchange for Medicare beneficiary referrals, according to a Feb. 6, 2020 press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of California.

 

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