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Physical Therapist, Money Launderer and Patient Recruiter Plead Guilty in Connection With Multiple Detroit Health Care Fraud Schemes
Date:12/11/2009

WASHINGTON, Dec. 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Detroit-area residents Baskaran Thangarasan, Sandeep Aggarwal and Wayne Smith pleaded guilty this week for their roles in connection with several Detroit-area health care fraud schemes, Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer of the Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan Terrence I. Berg, Special Agent in Charge Andrew G. Arena of the FBI's Detroit Field Office and Daniel Levinson, Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced today.

Thangarasan, 37, pleaded guilty on Dec. 9, 2009, to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud before U.S. District Judge Sean F. Cox of the Eastern District of Michigan. Aggarwal, 38, pleaded guilty Dec. 9, 2009, before Judge Cox to one count of conspiracy to launder money. Smith, 47, pleaded guilty yesterday to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud before Chief U.S. District Judge Gerald E. Rosen. At sentencing, Thangarasan and Smith face a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine; Aggarwal faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine.

According to information contained in plea documents, Thangarasan, a licensed physical therapist, admitted that he began working in approximately September 2003 as a contract therapist for a co-conspirator. This co-conspirator owned and controlled several companies operating in the Detroit area that purported to provide physical and occupational therapy services to Medicare beneficiaries. Thangarasan admitted that he, the co-conspirator and others created fictitious therapy files appearing to document physical therapy services provided to Medicare beneficiaries, when in fact no such services had been provided. According to court documents, the fictitious services reflected in the files were billed to Medicare through sham Medicare providers controlled by Thangarasan's co-conspir
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SOURCE U.S. Department of Justice
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