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Volume XIII, Number 148


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May 25, 2023

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Surgeon To Pay Up to $43 Million for FCA Fraud

Surgeon To Pay Up to $43 Million for FCA Fraud

A Michigan vascular surgeon, Vasso Godiali, was sentenced to 80 months in prison for defrauding health care programs in connection with his submission of false claims for the placement of vascular stents and thrombectomies.

Around 2009, Godiali began billing for medical services he did not perform, including the placement of multiple vascular stents in the same blood vessel and thrombectomy procedures. Godiali falsified medical records for years, and his fraudulent practices resulted in over $14 million in damage to the federal government and $19.5 million across Medicare, Medicaid, and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

Godiali entered into a plea agreement on February 2, 2022, and agreed to pay up to $43.3 million to resolve civil allegations related to False Claims Act violations (FCA).

The case is US ex rel. Innovative Solutions Consulting LLC v. Vasso Godziachvili Godiali, MD, Case No. 1:15-cv-14150-TLL-PTM (ED Mich.).

California Restaurant Owners Charged With COVID-Relief Fraud

California restaurant owners, Leronce Suel and Ravae Smith, were charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering for allegedly underreporting gross receipts on tax returns filled in connection with the COVID-related Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Restaurant Revitalization Funding loans.

From March 2020 to June 2022, Suel and Smith allegedly made materially false statements on loan applications, underreported over $1.7 million in gross receipts, and made substantial cash withdrawals from their business bank accounts to launder fraudulently obtained funds and conceal over $2.4 million in cash. If convicted, Suel and Smith face a maximum of 30 years in prison for wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud and a maximum of 10 years in prison for money laundering.

Read the US Department of Justice’s (DOJ) press release here.

Man Charged in $45 Million CoinDeal Fraud Scheme

A Nevada man, Bryan Lee, was charged with conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud, and engaging in monetary transactions in criminally derived property for his alleged participation in an investment fraud scheme that allegedly defrauded over 10,000 victims of more than $45 million.

Lee is alleged to have conspired with Neil Chandran, who was arrested and charged in June 2022 for his alleged participation, and other individuals to defraud investors in virtual-world technology companies controlled by Chandran by falsely promising high returns due to an impending acquisition. However, after receiving millions of dollars’ worth of investor funds, Lee and Chandran allegedly used the funds on luxury cars and real estate. Michael Glaspie pled guilty to wire fraud in February 2023 for his role in fraudulently marketing investments in Chandran’s companies under the name “CoinDeal” and is scheduled for sentencing on June 16.

Read the DOJ’s press release here.

© 2023 ArentFox Schiff LLPNational Law Review, Volume XIII, Number 146

About this Author

D. Jacques Smith Attorney Litigation ArentFox Schiff Washington DC
Partner and Complex Litigation Practice Co-Leader

Jacques focuses his practice on government investigations and enforcement. Recognized as one of the top False Claims Act practitioners in the country, his clients largely encompass all branches of health care and life sciences. He has more than 30 years of experience handling jury, bench, and administrative trials in a variety of civil and criminal cases in state and federal courts throughout the country. Jacques excels at handling complex commercial disputes and internal investigations and responding to government inquiries. 

Jacques is...

Randall A. Brater Litigation Attorney ArentFox Schiff Washington DC

Randy routinely litigates high-stakes matters in state and federal courts, including preliminary injunctions, motions practice, jury and bench trials, arbitrations, and mediation.

Randy often handles matters related to investigations and the False Claims Act, municipal bond finance, and trademark litigation. Randy also has represented agricultural chemical manufacturers in numerous data compensation disputes arising under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), environmental actions under CERCLA, employment, trade secret...

Michael F. Dearington Attorney White Collar Defense ArentFox Schiff Washington DC

Mike is a highly sought-after advocate who provides advice to corporate and individual clients in connection with a range of difficult legal issues, and represents clients in high-stakes litigation and investigations. Many of Mike’s clients are in the health care and life sciences industries.

Mike routinely counsels clients on matters involving the False Claims Act, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and federal securities laws, as well as complex commercial litigation and white-collar defense matters. He frequently writes and speaks on these...

Nadia Patel Business Litigation Lawyer ArentFox Schiff

Nadia regularly represents individuals and businesses involved in a variety of commercial litigation in state and federal court, including cases involving contract claims, Lanham Act violations, and litigation arising out of corporate transactions.  Recently, Nadia has represented foreign companies in civil litigation involving alleged violations of the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity (LIBERTAD) Act.  Nadia also represents employers in employment-related litigation, including matters involving violations of restrictive covenants, the Defend Trade Secret Act, and state trade secret...

Elizabeth Satarov Associate ArentFox Schiff LLP

Elizabeth previously worked as a paralegal at a large international law firm for the intellectual property and patent litigation groups. During law school, Elizabeth worked for the Vanderbilt Intellectual Property and the Arts Clinic where she represented a number of pro bono clients. She focused her time on preparing federal trademark applications and advising clients on music license agreements and copyright issues.