The United States Attorney’s Office recently announced that “The Savani Group,” a family of dental practice owners in Maple Glen and Blue Bell along with a number of co-conspirators in North Wales and other locations, have been accused of breaking at least a dozen laws in their efforts to generate millions in profits between 2009 and last year.
Brothers Bhaskar Savani, 56, of Ambler; Arun Savani, 55, of Blue Bell; and Niranjan Savani, 51, of Ambler, have been indicted.
Officials said that the dental conglomerate has been bilking millions of dollars from Medicaid programs, importing illegal foreign workers, and implanting unapproved medical devices in patients’ mouths for profit for more than a decade.
From the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s press release:
United States Attorney Jacqueline C. Romero announced today the unsealing of a sweeping 42-count indictment charging defendants Bhaskar Savani (56), Arun Savani (55), Niranjan Savani (51), Amen Dhyllon (45), Alesksandra Radomiak (44) – all of Montgomery County; and Sunil Phillip (56) of Bucks County, with a conspiracy under the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, or RICO as it is commonly called, alleging racketeering activity involving visa fraud, under 18 U.S.C. § 1546, related to a scheme to file false applications and petitions for H-1B visas; wire fraud, under 18 U.S.C. § 1343, related to a health care fraud scheme to fraudulently obtain Medicaid contracts and fraudulently bill Medicaid; money laundering, under 18 U.S.C. §§ 1956 and 1957, related to the laundering of the health care fraud proceeds; wire fraud, under 18 U.S.C. § 1343, related to a scheme to file false tax returns; and mail fraud, under 18 U.S.C. § 1341, related to the distribution and placement in human patients of prototype “Not For Human Use” dental implants that were not cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Bhaskar, Arun and Niranjan Savani, and defendants Vivek Savani (35), Bharatkumar Parasana (55), and Hiteshkumar Goyani (29), also of Montgomery County, PA and Piyusha Patel (41), a resident of Iowa, were charged with conspiracy to commit visa fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371. Bhaskar, Arun and Niranjan Savani, and Piyusha Patel were charged with visa fraud.
Bhaskar and Arun Savani, and defendant Susan Malpartida (26) of Passaic County, NJ were charged with conspiring to obstruct a grand jury investigation.
Bhaskar, Arun and Niranjan Savani, Amen Dhyllon and Aleksandra Radomiak were charged with conspiracy to commit health care fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1349, and various counts of health care fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1347.
Bhaskar and Arun Savani, Sunil Philip and Amen Dhyllon were charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1956(h). Bhaskar and Arun Savani were charged with various counts of money laundering, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1956 and 1957.
Bhaskar, Arun and Niranjan Savani and Sunil Philip were charged with a conspiracy to defraud the United States Treasury, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371, and wire fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1343, for a scheme to file false tax returns.
Bhaskar and Niranjan Savani and defendant Jon Julian of South Carolina (70) were charged in a conspiracy to distribute adulterated and misbranded dental implants, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371.
As alleged in the indictment, the Savani brothers built a complex criminal enterprise (the “Savani Group”) that amassed millions of dollars through multiple fraud schemes. Bhaskar and Niranjan Savani were dentists by training. Defendant Arun Savani generally controlled the finances of the Savani Group. Through their criminal enterprise, the Savani brothers orchestrated long-running schemes to enrich themselves, including through:
- A visa fraud scheme to file false H-1B visa applications and petitions with the U.S. Department of Labor, U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and the U.S. Department of State to exploit a workforce comprised of foreign nationals, mostly from India, who were dependent on the Savani Group, were forced to kickback wages and fees to the Savani Group.
- A health care fraud scheme to fraudulently obtain Medicaid contracts and fraudulently bill Medicaid using myriad of business entities and nominee business owners after Savani Group dental practices were terminated from Medicaid insurance contracts. The Savani Group defrauded Medicaid of more than $80 million through the scheme.
- A money laundering scheme to launder health care fraud proceeds through a complex web of financial transactions using numerous bank accounts at various banks.
- A wire fraud scheme involving false business expenses and the failure to report some taxable payroll to fraudulently decrease the amount of personal and payroll taxes due and owing. Through the scheme the Savani brothers and their companies failed to pay approximately $2 million in personal and payroll taxes, and fraudulently expensed through their businesses, among other personal expenses, improvements on a vacation property; payments to an elite private college preparatory school; college tuition payments; and car payments for personal cars of family members.
- A mail fraud scheme involving Osseolink USA LLC to place prototype “Not For Human Use” dental implants, not cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, in human patients without their knowledge or consent. Dental practices alleged to be involved in this scheme include AAA Signature Smile PC in Fort Washington, PA, and The Dental Retreat in Travelers Rest, SC.
If convicted, Bhaskar, Arun and Niranjan Savani, respectively, face a statutory maximum sentence of 430 years’ imprisonment, 425 years’ imprisonment, and 115 years’ imprisonment. Bhaskar and Arun Savani face fines of $10,750,000, and Niranjan Savani faces fines of $2,750,000. Other members of the RICO conspiracy face substantial sentences. Defendant Sunil Philip faces up to 105 years’ imprisonment and fines of $1,750,000; defendant Amen Dhyllon faces 110 years’ imprisonment and fines of approximately $2,500,000; and defendant Aleksandra Radomiak faces 50 years’ imprisonment and fines of approximately $1,000,000. The other defendants also face imprisonment and fines, as follows: defendants Vivek Savani, Bharatkumar Parasana, and Hiteshkumar Goyani each face 5 years’ imprisonment and fines of approximately $250,000 for their roles in the visa fraud conspiracy; Piyusha Patel faces 15 years’ imprisonment and a $500,000 fine for her visa fraud crimes; and defendants Jon Julian and Susan Malpartida each face 5 years’ imprisonment and fines of approximately $250,000 for conspiring to distribute adulterated and misbranded dental implants and obstruction of justice, respectively.
“This complex, multi-year investigation is an example of federal law enforcement at its best,” said U.S. Attorney Jacqueline Romero. “Through the coordinated efforts of almost a dozen state and federal law enforcement agencies, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, the Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section and Organized Crime and Gang Section of the Department of Justice, this group of dedicated public servants unraveled a tangled and complex web of alleged criminal activity designed to thwart justice. Through the unyielding work of all our law enforcement partners we were able to bring these charges and now will seek to hold persons accountable for these crimes.”
“Fraud and abuse take critical resources out of our healthcare system and cost taxpayers tens of billions of dollars each year,” said Jacqueline Maguire, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Philadelphia Division. “The FBI has been working alongside our state and federal partners on this investigation, we’re proud of the collaboration that’s led to these charges, and we’ll continue our joint efforts to hold anyone fleecing the U.S. government accountable.”
“Health care providers, who have a duty to practice in their patients’ best interests, are especially deceitful when they commit Medicaid fraud,” stated Special Agent in Charge Maureen R. Dixon with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG). “To assist in investigating the alleged illicit activity announced in today’s takedown, agents at HHS-OIG employed our suite of data analytics tools to identify and examine concerning trends. We will continue to work tirelessly with our partners to detect, investigate, and deter deception that jeopardizes the integrity of federal health care programs and services.”
“Criminal charges like the ones outlined in this indictment underscore the financial expertise and diligence of the IRS-CI special agents, who worked side-by-side with other federal law enforcement officers and the United States Attorney’s Office, to uncover these schemes and bring these charges against these defendants,” said IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Yury Kruty.
“The synchronized efforts of the diligent investigators and prosecutors who teamed together on this years-long investigation have been extraordinary,” said William S. Walker, Special Agent in Charge of HSI’s Philadelphia office. “One of HSI’s primary missions is to detect and dismantle criminal organizations who exploit financial systems to fuel their greedy endeavors. Results like those obtained through these indictments are only realized through teamwork and information sharing. Without the dedication and tireless work of the multiple agencies involved in this investigation, this fraudulent conspiracy might still be active today.”
“This is a perfect illustration of DSS’ global reach with our network of DSS agents and investigative teams at U.S. embassies and consulates worldwide, and our skill in uncovering larger criminal enterprises while investigating visa fraud allegations,” said Mike Escott, Resident Agent in Charge at the DSS Philadelphia Resident Office. “When a United States-based business engages in a conspiracy to commit visa fraud to illegally bring workers to the United States to exploit that labor, DSS partners with our allies to bring them to justice, protecting American citizens and strengthening our extended borders.”
“An important part of the mission of the Office of Inspector General is to investigate allegations of fraud related to the foreign labor certification programs administered by the U.S. Department of Labor,” stated Syreeta Scott, Special Agent in Charge, Mid-Atlantic Region, U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General. “We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to investigate these types of allegations.”
The case was investigated by the following agencies: the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Health and Human Services-Office of Inspector General; Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigations Division; Homeland Security Investigations; the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service; U.S. Food and Drug Administration-Office of Criminal Investigations; Department of Labor-Office of Inspector General; Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General; and State of Iowa Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Lesley Bonney, Kevin Jayne, and Meaghan Flannery, and Department of Justice Money Laundering Section Attorneys Darrin McCollough, Senior Policy Advisor, and Colin Trundle, Trial Attorney. The asset seizure and forfeiture is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Sarah Grieb.
An indictment, information, or criminal complaint is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.