A doctor in Lancaster was convicted of accepting illegal kickback payments as part of a scheme that saw Medicare pay out $4.1 million while he repeatedly referred patients to a La Verne home health agency to make the claims, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Thursday.
Dr. Kanagasabai Kanakeswaran is scheduled to face sentencing on Jan. 7 and faces a maximum possible sentence of 25 years in federal prison.
According to prosecutors, Dr. Kanagasabai Kanakeswaran was part of a conspiracy in which he would refer his Medicare patients to a home health agency in La Verne called Star Home Health Resources.
In exchange for the referrals, he accepted kickback payments that were paid both in cash and through checks made payable to a company he owned, called Digital Perfection Corporation, federal prosecutors said.
Working with the doctor in the illegal scheme, the owners and operators of Star Home Health Resources submitted claims to Medicare based on his patient referrals, according to prosecutors.
As a result, Medicare paid out $4.1 million based on those claims, federal prosecutors said in a news release, citing evidence presented at Kanakeswaran’s six-day trial.
The investigation was conducted by the FBI and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General.