FBI raids home of former CEO of Tulare Regional Medical Center, seizes items related to management of hospital

FBI agents and the Tulare County district attorney's office seized several electronic devices and documents during a recent raid of the former Tulare Regional Medical Center CEO's home, according to the Visalia Times Delta.

Investigators sought a warrant to search the home of former Tulare Regional Medical Center CEO and Chairman Benny Benzeevi, MD, for documents and information related to his company, Tulare-based Healthcare Conglomerate and Associates, according to court documents cited by the Visalia Times Delta.

Investigators alleged Dr. Benzeevi engaged in embezzlement and misappropriation of funds and property, fraudulently altering accounts, and theft of money or property under false pretenses, among other felony charges. No charges have yet been filed, according to the report.

Tulare County District Attorney Tim Ward said the investigation into TRMC and HCCA is one of the costliest investigations his office has ever conducted.

Another attorney with the district did not comment to the Visalia Times Delta as to why the FBI had become involved.

Mr. Ward said investigators launched a probe into TRMC and the hospital operator last summer after receiving complaints. Dr. Benzeevi and HCCA managed the Tulare hospital for three years until late last year, when a judge ruled the hospital could sever ties with HCCA as part of the hospital's bankruptcy filing, according to the report.

HCCA proceeded to sue the TRMC hospital board, alleging the board broke its contract with the hospital operator when it ousted the company. The lawsuit was settled earlier this year, the Visalia Times Delta reports.

The board voluntarily suspended its medical license to operate TRMC in October 2017, effectively suspending all operations at the hospital. However, TRMC's board, which regained control of the hospital after HCCA departed, aims to reopen the hospital once it secures financing.

To access the Visalia Times Delta report, click here.

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