LOS ANGELES–A California doctor was sentenced to 42 months in prison on Jan. 22 for his role in a Medicare kickback conspiracy involving a Los Angeles-area home health agency.
Kanagasabai Kanakeswaran, M.D., 65, of Lancaster, California, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Philip S. Gutierrez of the Central District of California, who also ordered Kanakeswaran to forfeit $509,662 to the United States. Following a six-day trial, Kanakeswaran was convicted by a federal jury in Los Angeles, California, on Aug. 23, 2018, on one count of conspiracy to pay and/or receive kickbacks for Medicare referrals and four counts of receiving kickbacks for Medicare referrals.
According to evidence presented at trial, from 2008 to 2016, Kanakeswaran and others engaged in a conspiracy to refer Medicare patients to Star Home Health Resources (Star), a home health agency located in La Verne, California in exchange for illegal kickback payments. Kanakeswaran received cash kickback payments, as well as kickback payments by check through a company Kanakeswaran owned called Digital Perfection Corporation, the evidence showed. The evidence presented at trial showed that Kanakeswaran received illegal kickbacks from Star in the amount of $509,662.
As a result of the conspiracy, the owners and operators of Star submitted claims to Medicare based on the Medicare beneficiaries that Kanakeswaran referred to Star, and Medicare paid approximately $4.1 million based on those claims, the evidence showed.