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Feds: Fishers businessman spent kickbacks from health care fraud on private planes, golf trips

Posted: 5:59 PM, Oct 12, 2016
Updated: 2016-10-12 19:36:36-04
Fishers businessman charged in $16M fraud scheme

INDIANAPOLIS -- The owner of a Fishers-based landscaping company faces federal wire, mail and health care fraud charges alleging he participated for years in a scheme to defraud the federal health care system of millions of dollars.

Dave Mazanowski, owner and CEO of Mainscape Inc., was charged Wednesday with one count of conspiracy to commit mail, wire and health care fraud in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.

Prosecutors allege Mazanowski was involved in a scheme with former American Senior Communities CEO James Burkhart to falsify and inflate invoices in order to pay approximately $1.5 million in kickbacks to themselves and Burkhart's alleged co-conspirators between 2009 and July 2015.

Burkhart, along with alleged co-conspirators Daniel Benson (ASC's former COO), Steven Ganote and his brother, Joshua Burkhart, was indicted last week on 32 federal counts, including conspiracy to commit wire, mail and health care fraud, money laundering and conspiring to violate anti-kickback statutes.

FULL STORY | Feds: Ex-American Senior Communities CEO used massive web of shell companies in $16M fraud

Charging documents filed Wednesday lay Mazanowski's alleged role in the scheme. He's accused initially of inflating invoices by 5 percent at Burkhart's direction. Those invoices were then paid by ASC with Medicare and Medicaid dollars, with the overcharges allegedly going to Mazanowski and the Burkhart brothers through Joshua Burkhart's shell company Circle Consulting LLC. Joshua Burkhart is alleged to have received approximately $400,000 through this scheme.

In January 2015, prosecutors say Burkhart and Mazanowski upped their overcharges by an additional 45 percent – and began to pay them directly to themselves. They allegedly used James Burkhart's shell company Driver Sandwedge LLC and Mazanowski's shell company Maz LLC to conceal the payments. Burkhart and Mazanowski are both accused of receiving nearly $200,000 in concealed overcharges this way.

Explore the links between the alleged co-conspirators and the shell companies prosecutors say they used to perpetrate the scheme below:

The pair are also accused of charging ASC for $1.5 million in additional, fictitious "consulting" services that were never rendered. Prosecutors say the payments were instead "reimbursements to [Mazanowski] for James Burkhart's personal use of a private plane that [Mazanowski] owned, for a golf trip that [Mazanowski] planned and paid for at James Burkhart's request, and for political contributions that James Burkhart directed [Mazanowski] to pay."

Indiana campaign finance records show Mazanowski's only reported contribution between the 2009-2015 period the scheme was allegedly perpetrated was $20,000 to the Mike Pence for Indiana campaign committee on Dec. 1, 2014.

During the same period, Mazanowski and his wife Donna donated thousands of dollars in federal races for Democrats Andre Carson ($7,800) and Hillary Clinton ($5,400). Find a full list of their state and federal contributions during the period from 2009-2015 below:

  • 3/16/2012: $2,500 to Andre Carson for Congress
  • 8/14/2014: $2,600 to Andre Carson for Congress
  • 10/27/2014: $3,000 to the Indiana Democratic Congressional Victory Committee
  • 12/1/2014: $20,000 to Mike Pence for Indiana
  • 4/27/2015: $2,700 to Andre Carson for Congress
  • 7/9/2015: $5,400 to Hillary for America

Carson Communications Director Jessica Gail said the congressman has "no special relationship" with Mazanowski, who she described as "a normal donor."

"Congressman Carson has donors from all over, in the thousands," she said. "There was no personal relationship. He was a normal donor."

Requests for comment from the Pence campaign weren't immediately returned.

U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler accused Burkhart and his associates Wednesday of "unbridled greed, deceit and theft."

"They laundered the money through a web of shell accounts and bank accounts," Minkler said. "The money all ended up in their pockets."

The men are accused of spending the money on vacation homes, gold watches and bullion and diamonds, as well as on travel and other personal expenses.

The federal indictments against Burkhart list other, unnamed businesses that also allegedly agreed to kickback schemes. Minkler said Wednesday he expected more charges to be filed in the case.

As part of the charges, a Regions Bank account in the name of Mazanowski's alleged shell company, Maz LLC, was seized – along with the $195,000 it contained.

A call to Mainscape Inc. for comment was not immediately returned.