Former Borrego Health executives face RICO lawsuit

A Southern California federally qualified health center has accused past board members, executives, and contractors of racketeering, fraud, nepotism, excessive compensation, and blatant self-dealing, according to an Aug. 6 report from The San Diego Union-Tribune. 

In a lawsuit filed in San Diego federal court, dozens of officials and contractors stand accused of stealing millions of dollars from Borrego Spring, Calif.-based Borrego Community Health Foundation and falsifying records to generate excess revenue. 

"While Borrego Health was attempting to complete its mission of providing healthcare to underserved communities, certain individuals and entities, both inside and outside of Borrego Health, siphoned off money from Borrego Health that should have benefitted to the community it serves," the lawsuit alleges. 

Sandra Hansberger, chair of the Borrego Health board of directors, said that the lawsuit is one of many steps the organization is taking to correct past wrongdoing. 

"I am appalled at how individuals took advantage of their positions at a nonprofit for their own personal gain,” she said in a statement. "It’s time we take this action to shine a light on these activities so that we can move forward," said Ms. Hansberger. 

The lawsuit was filed under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, enacted in 1970 to fight organized crime syndicates. The designation allows plaintiffs to collect significantly more damages should they prevail in court. 

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