DALLAS (CN) – A Dallas-area attorney has pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud the federal government of more than $26 million in workers’ compensation benefits.
Tshombe Anderson, 54, of Grand Prairie, pleaded guilty Thursday to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud. He faces up to 10 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine. He will forfeit $375,000 seized from his home, a 2015 Mercedes and his share of $8.3 million seized from 25 bank accounts.
Prosecutors said Anderson conspired with four relatives to file more than $26 million in fraudulent claims for durable medical equipment with the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Worker’s Compensation Program.
His sister Lydia Bankhead, 63, wife Brenda Anderson, 47, sister-in-law Janet Anderson, 43 and niece Lydia Taylor, 30, will stand trial on Sept. 25.
Anderson was employed as an attorney at Union Treatment Center (UTC) in Austin. He and his wife were fired in May 2011 after an audit showed “they appeared to be engaging in fraudulent billing practices,” according to the criminal complaint.
Prosecutors say Anderson and his wife opened a durable medical equipment company called Best First Administration to provide equipment to patients referred from UTC. He later opened Union Medical Supplies and Equipment with Bankhead in April 2013 and opened Skycare Medical Supplies and Equipment in with his wife in August 2013.
“Both companies were created in order to submit claims that were inappropriate to OWCP,” prosecutors said Thursday. “The same medical information that BFA had received from UTC was used and billed to the same universe of claimants for duplicate, unwanted durable medical equipment that was not medically necessary, using outdated medical information.”
Prosecutors said that every single bill submitted by at least two of the defendants’ companies was fraudulent. They said Anderson “had access to the operating accounts for UMSE and routinely transferred large sums of cash from those accounts for his personal use or to launder through business accounts” for a shell account and accounts for his law office.