Bucks Co. man charged with $14M hospice fraud

NORTHEAST PHILADELPHIA - October 12, 2011

His attorney told his client to stay quiet, but Kolodesh couldn't help himself after federal investigators say he scammed the government out of a whopping $14-million by submitting bogus Medicare claims.

"All bull#%#...it's a political case," Kolodesh said.

Prosecutors say from 2003 to 2008, Kolodesh used his business, Home Care Hospice on Grant Avenue in Northeast Philadelphia, for his scheme.

"Basically, what he was doing was billing Medicare for services that either he wasn't providing to some of the people that he was claiming received his services or to people that were ineligible to receive the services," Patty Hartman of the United States Attorney' Office said.

The US Attorney's Office says Kolodesh used nearly $10-million on himself and his family.

This included $5-million was paid to his wife, the CEO of HCH, $170,000 was used to renovate a lavish Churchville, Bucks County home, money towards travel expenses and his son's Drexel University tuition.

Plus, $3.5-million to various business ventures.

Investigators say he couldn't pull it off alone and HCH management, nursing staff and nursing supervisors were directed to fabricate documentation for patient files.

They say there were kickbacks to doctors and other medical professionals who referred patients and certified they were appropriate for hospice care.

Those healthcare professionals are now under investigation.

As are charitable organizations like an unnamed synagogue which documents say received almost $150,000 from Kolodesh as a donation and returned $55,000 to him as a thank you.

"We look forward to facing these charges in court; we will have our day in court," Kolodesh's attorney Ellen Brotman said.

The judge allowed Kolodesh to pay a $250,000 bail, but he had to surrender his passport.

The 49-year-old man could face 370 years in prison if found guilty and the government is trying to get that $14-million back.

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