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4 suspects received millions during 6 year fraud scheme

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – The former CEO for American Senior Communities, James Burkhart, along with three others were arrested early Wednesday morning for their involvement in a money laundering scheme.

Burkhart’s attorney confirmed the arrests to 24-Hour News 8. Attorney Larry Mackey said Burkhart will go before a judge on Wednesday.

In September 2015, Burkart’s Carmel home was part of an FBI raid, which included the ASC’s cooperate headquarters. The raid lasted nearly nine hours before agents left with boxes and several computers. Burkhart was fired just days after the raids.

According to the indictment, Burkhart and three others were part of scheme to receive kickbacks and payments for their own benefit from the company. All four will face money laundering, mail fraud and wire fraud charges.

Those named in the court filings include, Burkhart who was the CEO at the time of the crime, Daniel Benson ASC’s Chief Operation Officer, Steven Ganote a personal friend of Burkhart and Joshua Burkhart aka “Justin Barnes” who is James’ brother.

It is believed that the four used ASC’s numerous vendors to launder millions of dollars for their own benefit. Court documents state that ASC had no knowledge of the crimes.

Court documents show, the defendants created shell companies to conceal the scheme and funnel millions of dollars from ASC’s owners and federal care programs for themselves.  The crime was documented by Ganote with binders, records and notes that detailed the amount they received.

James Burkhart was using shell companies to funnel in money beginning in 2009 until approximately April 2015.

Burkhart, Benson and Ganote received a total of over $1.5 million from one scheme that went from August 2013 to September 2015. In another scheme the they received over $3.7 million.

The U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler said during the six year scheme the four pulled in over $16 million from fraud and kickbacks. Minkler described the scheme as unbridled greed where they took money from programs for the disabled and elderly that desperately need it.

In a statement released by the ASC they said they are the victims of betrayal by two former officers.

American Senior Communities is grateful to the United States Attorney’s Office and the federal agencies whose hard work and dedication resulted in today’s indictment. ASC has actively cooperated in this investigation and will continue to cooperate until the prosecutions are concluded. ASC was the victim of a betrayal of trust by two of its former officers.

ASC said they are thankful for the support and have come out of this case as stronger and more vital organization. They have implemented new safeguards and strengthened their leaders.