Dallas, TX (Workerscompensation.com) – A Dallas area attorney has pleaded guilty to a scheme netting more than $26 million from the Dept. of Labor Workers’ Compensation Program. He will spend ten years in prison.
The 54-year-old Tshombe Anderson pleaded guilty in August of 2017 in a scheme lasting nearly four years involving his niece, whom he helped get an internship at the U.S. Dept. of Labor so she could learn the filing system and act as a “mole,” according to prosecutors. Court papers also say Anderson used his wife and his sister in the plot to form a business to fraudulently bill the federal workers’ compensation program.
The judge, U.S. District Court Judge Barbara Lynn, also ordered Anderson to repay $26 million in restitution.
On a website that is still active, Anderson is described as a lawyer focusing on corporate, criminal and personal injury law.
Anderson has been in federal custody since 2005 because the federal government has determined he is a possible flight risk. Federal agents also raided his Texas home and found more than $300,000 in cash, according to the Dallas Morning News.
His wife also pleaded guilty in the scheme as well as several family members, according to prosecutors.
His wife Barbara Anderson, 47; sister 63-year-old Lydia Bankhead; sister-in-law 43-year-old Janet Anderson; and niece 30-year-old Lydia Taylor were all charged as well.
According to federal prosecutors, Anderson, along with his family members, opened Union Medical Supplies and Equipment, Best First Administration; and Skycare Medical Supplies and Equipment. Both businesses were created to submit false claims to the Dept. of Labor Workers’ Compensation Program.
Anderson utilized a company he had been an attorney for to bill claimants for Best First Administration’s profit. The charges were for duplicate, unwanted durable medical equipment that was not medically necessary. Outdated medical information was used, according to the feds.
“Tshombe Anderson continued to do so despite knowing that they were billing the state’s Office of Workers’ Comp Programs (OWCP) for items that were not associated with the claimant’s injuries and that claimants were often refusing or rejecting the durable medical equipment for which their company had billed,” the federal government said in a statement.
Several of his family members are still awaiting sentencing.
Janet Anderson’s charges have been dismissed. She is no longer living in the U.S., according to the Dallas Morning News.
“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, Special Agent in-Charge for the Dallas Regional Office of the U.S. Dept. of Labor’s Office of Inspector General in a statement to the Dallas Morning News.