Two former executives at one of the nation’s leading healthcare claims processing firms, MultiPlan, Inc., were recently sentenced to serve one year and one day in federal prison for their role in a scheme to steer contracts to technology vendors in exchange for $3.4 million in bribes and kickbacks.
Keith Bush, MultiPlan’s former Vice President and Director of Database Administration, and Anil Singh, the company’s Chief Information Officer, each pleaded guilty to a multi-count criminal Information charging them with honest services fraud and money laundering. In separate sentencing hearings before U.S. District Judge Denise Cote in the Southern District of New York, each of the former executives was ordered to serve one year and one day in federal prison, to make restitution in the amount of $1.2 million, and to forfeit assets totaling $3.4 million. The charges against the former managers were that they created and carried out a multi-year kickback scheme involving the steering of $23 million in contracts to five different technology companies in exchange for the payment of kickbacks which they concealed and laundered using multiple shell companies and bank accounts.
Singh, fighting back tears at his sentencing, apologized to the court, his family and his former employer, and described his conduct as a “sinful act.” “I cannot blame anyone for this except myself,” he said. While acknowledging the sincerity of his remorse and his cooperation with federal investigators, Judge Cote decided that a prison term was warranted given the scope and duration of the fraud scheme. “I believe it is incumbent on me to publicly acknowledge the level of deceit and dishonesty and financial harm that was at stake here and the number of people who were hurt along the way,” Cote said.
As part of the same investigation, prosecutors also charged six individuals who were associated with various information technology companies that paid the kickbacks to the MultiPlan managers. Five of these men (Darren Siriani, Vadan Kopalle, Sarvesh Dharyan, Sanjay Gupta, and Rangarajan Kumar) have pleaded guilty to fraud charges. One man (Sam Atluri) is a fugitive from justice believed to living in India.
MultiPlan, the victim of this scheme, was represented by Jackson Lewis P.C., which was engaged to conduct an internal investigation after the company received an anonymous tip by email. After developing evidence confirming the nature and extent of the fraud and the identity of those involved, counsel not only consulted with the client on employment and business actions to be taken, but referred the matter to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan for consideration of criminal prosecution. Attorneys worked closely with federal investigators and supported the efforts of the prosecutors, leading to the federal charges. Jackson Lewis has continued to represent the company during the criminal process to insure that restitution is fully paid and the company is made whole.
The government has been effectively represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jason Hernandez and Elisha Kobre, and by investigators from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Secret Service.