A federal grand jury in Houston has returned a, indictment against three people, including two siblings, charging them with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, kickbacks and money laundering connected with an alleged federal workers’ compensation fraud scheme, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas.
A grand jury returned the 27-count indictment on Nov. 2, 2017, against Anukul Dass aka Andy Dass, 41, and his sister Anurag Dass aka Anna Dass, 46, both of Houston, along with Stephen Vincent Hunt, 67, formerly of Houston and now of Waxahachie.
Anukul and Anurag Dass operated A&A Pain and Wellness Center Inc. at 6600 Harwin Drive in Southwest Houston. From 2010 to 2017, the indictment alleges they filed false claims with the Office of Worker Compensation Programs (OWCP) for patients that Hunt directed to the clinic. Hunt was allegedly a former injured employee with the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) who filed his own injury claim with OWCP.
The Dass siblings allegedly conspired with Hunt for him to direct injured federal workers to A&A Pain and Wellness Center for medical treatment and health care services. In return, the indictment alleges Hunt would receive a fee as payment from the center for each claim OWCP paid. Hunt also allegedly charged injured federal workers he referred a fee for his representation and services through a company he controlled under the name “Zentec.”
Anna Dass was the manager of Clinical Operations at A&A, while Anukul Dass was the director, according to the indictment. Anna Dass allegedly filed false claims for services which were not performed or were “upcoded” and billed at a higher rate than services actually performed. From 2010 to 2017, A&A billed OWCP for more than $9.1 million. OWCP allegedly paid $7.2 million for those claims according to the allegations.
If convicted of the conspiracy or the kickback allegations, each faces a penalty of up to five years in prison. The wire fraud carries a possible 20-year maximum sentence, while a conviction for money laundering could result in as much as 10 years imprisonment. All of the charges also carry a possible fine of $250,000.
The indictment was announced by Acting U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez along with Special Agent in Charge Scott Pierce of the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) – Contract Fraud Investigations Division and Special Agent in Charge Steven Grell of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL)-OIG.
USPS-OIG and DOL-OIG conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Cedric L. Joubert is prosecuting this case.
Source: U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas
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