Former CEO Sentenced to Prison in Kickback Scheme

Posted: Updated:
U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler detailed the sentence during a Friday news conference. (photo courtesy WTHR-TV) U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler detailed the sentence during a Friday news conference. (photo courtesy WTHR-TV)

The former chief executive officer of American Senior Communities in Carmel was sentenced Friday in federal court after a three-year investigation. U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler's office says James Burkhart will serve more than nine years in prison for his role in a massive fraud, kickback, and money laundering conspiracy.

Minkler says Burkhart and his co-conspirators, including his younger brother, funneled more than $19 million in fraud and kickbacks to themselves through numerous shell companies and bank accounts. The majority of the money came from the Health & Hospital Corp. of Marion County, which is part of the state's public health system.

"In spite of receiving a salary of over $1 million, Burkhart abused his official position of trust to steal tax payer dollars intended to benefit this community’s sick, elderly and mentally challenged," Minkler said in a news release. "Because this thief was motivated by nothing other than corruption and greed, we sought a justifiably harsh sentence. Hopefully, the sound of the prison door slamming shut on this 9.5 year sentence will deter other officials from the culture of corruption and greed we see in this district."

ASC is the largest nursing home chain in the state, managing about 70 senior care facilities. Minkler's office says Burkhart would have vendors, from whom the company would purchase various goods and services, to inflate their bills to ASC, which Burkhart would pay with the Health & Hospital Corp.'s money. The vendor would then kick the extra money back to Burkhart and his co-conspirators. In some cases, he would have vendors or shell companies submit false bills for services that were never provided or simply demand vendors pay him kickbacks in exchange for business with ASC. 

The investigation began in 2015, when a vendor Burkhart tried to include in the scheme went to the FBI. 

"This defendant was paid a large salary and viewed as an industry leader, but he chose to abuse his power and position out of pure greed," said Grant Mendenhall, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Indianapolis Division. “The FBI works diligently with partner agencies to uncover and investigate corporate executives who enrich themselves through kickbacks and theft. We applaud the concerned citizen who brought this fraud to our attention, and we encourage anyone else who wants to bring these types of fraudulent behavior to light to contact us."

His co-defendants include ASC Chief Operating Office Daniel Benson, Burkhart's younger brother Joshua Burkhart, and Steven Ganote, a friend and associate of Burkhart. Each of them will be sentenced over the next two weeks.

  • Perspectives

    • Three Ways to Stand Out In a Competitive Hospitality Market

      For many business leaders in the Indianapolis area, it can be difficult to differentiate your brand from competitors. Indianapolis is booming, and we're in an era where consumers have access to countless choices! That's why it's more important than ever for brands to provide consumers with compelling reasons to spend their hard-earned money on their product or services.

    More

Subscribe

Name:
Company Name:
Email:
Confirm Email:
HTML
INside Edge
Morning Briefing
BigWigs & New Gigs
Life Sciences Indiana
Indiana Connections
INPower
Subscribe
Unsubscribe

Events



  • Most Popular Stories

    • Walmart Details Crawfordsville Layoffs

      Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) is reducing workforce at the Walmart Optical Lab in Crawfordsville. In a notice to the state, the company said 108 employees will be out of work by the end of September. A corporate spokeswoman told Inside INdiana Business the decision was a response to "changing business needs." She added "we are making adjustments at our Walmart Optical Labs in Crawfordsville to help ensure we have the right people in the right place at the right time."

    • 'Best And Worst-Run' Ranks Hoosier Cities

      Three Indiana cities are included in WalletHub's list of the "2018 Best- And Worst-Run Cities in America." The list compares 150 of the most populated cities across several categories, including financial stability, education, and economy. 

    • Brown County Aims to 'Buck' Rural Flight

      The Maple Leaf Performing Arts Center isn't the only big ticket project making progress in Nashville. Town Manager Scott Rudd says some $40 million in projects designed to the boost the quality of life for locals and visitors alike are in the works in the tourism-focused community. The owners of Big Woods and Quaff On breweries are just days away from the grand opening of the multi-million-dollar Hard Truth Hills attraction in Brown County, which covers 325 acres and includes...

    • Officials broke ground on the project more than two years ago.

      Steel Producer to Open Shelbyville Plant

      Governor Eric Holcomb will Wednesday join executives from Nippon Steel & Sumikin Cold Heading Wire Indiana Inc. to cut the ribbon on the company's 150,000-square-foot facility in Shelbyville. The $50 million project is expected to create up to 70 jobs by 2021.

    • Tech Apprenticeship Company Scores $4.2M

      Kenzie Academy Inc., a technology industry apprenticeship program that has its first campus in Indianapolis, has received a $4.2 million seed round of funding. The company uses what it calls a "college-alternative" model that involves a year of immersive learning and a year of paid work at its consulting subsidiary, Kenzie Studio. Kenzie Academy says the investment, led by New York-based ReThink Education and supported by...