California News

California Gave $139M Ventilator Contract To Firm That Was Raided By The FBI

Fresno Bee-

In March 2013, FBI agents raided Heriberto Diaz’s medical supply company in Bakersfield, searching for evidence of Medicare fraud.

Seven years later, Diaz’s company, Ashli Healthcare Inc., holds a $139 million contract to supply ventilators and other equipment to the state — one of the biggest contracts the Newsom administration has signed without going through the usual competitive bidding process as it scrambled to gear up for the coronavirus pandemic.

The FBI’s raid on Ashli’s one-story gray stucco warehouse and offices coincided with searches at two medical offices in Bakersfield. An FBI agent wrote in an affidavit that the three businesses were suspected of cooperating on a scheme to bilk the taxpayers out of millions by billing Medicare for devices for patients who didn’t need them — including at least 125 who had already died.

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