Workers’ Compensation Scheme targets the Department of Labor
Tshombe Anderson, a Dallas-area attorney, was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison and ordered to pay approximately $26 million as restitution for a fraud scheme he ran. Anderson, along with his wife, sister, and niece, filed false claims for medical equipment with the Department of Labor’s Office of Workers’ Compensation Program.
The scheme lasted from approximately 2011 to 2015. Anderson orchestrated the scheme by fraudulently obtaining workers’ compensation information from more than 200 injured federal workers and then billing the Workers’ Compensation Program. He obtained the health information by getting his niece to work an internship at the Department of Labor, where she was able to look through claim files and learn how the compensation system worked.
As an attorney for Union Treatment Centers, he also opened businesses with his wife and his sister that provided equipment to patients referred from Union Treatment Centers. These medical equipment centers were how they ran their scheme and every bill they sent to the Workers’ Compensation Program proved to be fraudulent. Although Anderson was fired from Union Treatment Centers in 2011, he kept patient health information and continued to fraudulently bill for equipment that the shell companies never provided. He would then transfer much of the fraudulent proceeds back to family in Zimbabwe. Tshombe Anderson’s law license is currently suspended.
The Craigheads and Union Treatment Centers
Christine Craighead, owner of Union Treatment Centers, was the whistleblower on Anderson. However, Craighead, along with her brother-in-law, Garry Craighead, are also under investigation for health care fraud tied to Union Treatment Centers. Lisa Wheeler, a chiropractor who worked for Union Treatment Centers in Austin, was the whistleblower against the Craigheads.
As evidenced by this case, the False Claims Act has proven to help fight fraud as it encourages people to report fraudulent claims against the government with a promise of a piece of the settlement. Fraud is also becoming more difficult to commit as electronic records leave trails that are easy to follow. Gone are the days when paper records could be fudged or “lost;” everything today is kept in some capacity and usually recoverable. FCA allegations are serious and we will continue to see these pop up as the government and the public become more perceptive to these schemes.
Do you know of a fraudulent scheme that is targeting the government or a privately held business? Or are you being accused of a similar scheme? Our RICO and Qui Tam attorneys can help guide you through the process of the False Claims Act and subsequent potential litigation. Contact our office today to schedule your free consultation.