Dallas attorney and family members charged with defrauding workers comp out of $22 million
By Kevin Krause, Dallas Morning News
A Dallas attorney and his wife and his sister have been charged with bilking the government out of more than $22 million by billing the federal worker’s compensation program for bogus medical equipment, the U.S. attorney’s office said.
The attorney, Tshombe Anderson, 52, was arrested Friday.
His wife, Brenda Anderson, 45, and his sister, Lydia Bankhead, 61, were arrested on Wednesday and remain in federal custody.
They are accused of forming several alleged businesses to provide medical equipment to rehab patients that either wasn’t needed or wasn’t requested. The government reimbursed them based on false billings, officials said.
Tshombe Anderson worked as an attorney for Union Treatment Center from about February 2010 to May 2011, according to a federal complaint. The treatment and rehab center has offices in Austin, Corpus Christi, Killeen and San Antonio.
The center treated injured state and federal worker’s compensation patients.
Brenda Anderson joined the company in February 2010. Shortly afterward, she formed Best First Administration Durable Medical Equipment of Austin, which became the center’s “in-house” provider of medical equipment, the complaint said.
Under that arrangement, Brenda Anderson would provide the center’s patients with medical equipment prescribed by its doctors, and the worker’s comp program paid the bills.
The rehab center fired the couple in May 2011 after an audit found that they appeared to be involved in fraudulent billing.
But Brenda Anderson kept patient records from the center and used that information to continue billing the worker’s comp program for equipment that wasn’t necessary or needed, according to the complaint.
In January 2013, Tshombe Anderson formed Union Medical Supplies & Equipment LLC, managed by Bankhead and their mother. It also billed the government for bogus medical equipment supposedly provided to Union Treatment Center patients, the complaint said.
Federal authorities said that every transaction billed by Union Medical Supplies & Equipment “appears to be fraudulent.”
Authorities said Tshombe Anderson ran the same scheme with Sky-Care Medical Supplies & Equipment LLC, which he formed in May 2013. His sister-in-law was listed as its manager.
Other fraudulent billings were made in 2014 under an entity he formed called American Federal Union Claims Advocates LLC, the complaint said.
Tshombe Anderson received his law degree in 1999 from the University Of Arkansas. He has been disciplined by the Texas state bar four times between 2005 and 2011, records show. And in 2007, he received a public reprimand.