DALLAS (CN) – A Dallas-area attorney was sentenced Thursday to 10 years in federal prison for defrauding the federal government of $26 million in phony workers’ compensation benefits.
U.S. District Judge Barbara Lynn sentenced Tshombe Anderson, 54, of Grand Prairie, to the maximum sentence allowed under sentencing guidelines. She ordered him to pay $26.5 million in restitution for a scheme he ran with four family members, filing false claims for durable medical equipment with the Department of Labor Office of Workers’ Compensation Program. Prosecutors said the scam lasted for four years until his 2015 arrest.
Anderson pleaded guilty last year to conspiracy to commit health care fraud. He forfeited $375,000 seized from his home, a 2015 Mercedes and his share of $8.3 million seized from 25 bank accounts.
“Anderson stole patient information from over 200 injured federal workers and then used the information to fraudulently bill OWCP, enriching himself and others with taxpayer dollars intended for the treatment of injured federal workers,” said Steven Grell, agent in charge of the Labor Department’s Office of Inspector General in Dallas.
Anderson worked as an attorney for Union Treatment Centers and he and his wife and co-defendant, Brenda Anderson, 47, opened a medical equipment company called Best First Administration that provided equipment to patients referred from his employer, which he left in 2011, according to plea documents. Anderson then opened two more companies in 2013, one with his sister and co-defendant Lydia Bankhead, 63. Prosecutors say every single bill sent by at least two of the companies was fraudulent. They say Anderson routinely transferred large sums of cash from operating accounts with his sister’s company for personal use or to launder through business accounts for a shell company, as well as his law office accounts. His sister, wife and niece, Lydia Taylor, 30, all pleaded guilty to their roles in the fraud.