Department of Labor files suit against former Rockford weight loss doctor wanted by FBI
Online Staff Report
The U.S. Department of Labor has filed a lawsuit against former Nutrition Clinic owner Dr. Gautum Gupta that aims to terminate the Nutrition Clinic 401(k) Plan and provide funds to participants.
The lawsuit alleges that Gupta failed to terminate the Nutrition Clinic 401(k) Plan and ensure the plan’s assets were distributed to employees after the company ceased operations in 2011.
Gupta failed to file any business documents with the Illinois Secretary of State regarding the company’s status. His whereabouts are unknown and he is on the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) most wanted list.
As of June 6, 2012, the plan had 26 participants and vested accounts totaling $521,932.
In 2011 or early 2012, Ehtesham J.A. Ghani took over the clients and offices of Nutrition Clinic under a business entity called ThinFast M.D. However, it is unknown if Ghani entered into a purchase agreement with Gupta or Nutrition Clinic, but he took no formal role with the Nutrition Clinic 401(k) Plan, according to the complaint.
The suit seeks to remove Gupta as fiduciary for the Nutrition Clinic 401(k) Plan and appoint an independent fiduciary to distribute the plan’s assets and to terminate the plan. It also seeks to permanently enjoin Gupta from serving as a fiduciary to any ERISA-covered plan in the future.
The complaint was filed in the United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois, in Rockford.
Gupta, 58, is wanted by the FBI for his alleged involvement in several white-collar crimes. According to the FBI: “The indictment alleges that Gupta, the owner of a chain of medically supervised weight-loss clinics, or members of his staff acting at his direction, submitted claims to both the Blue Cross/Blue Shield Insurance Company and the Illinois Medicaid program for unnecessary procedures or procedures which were never performed. The complaint indicates that during the time frame of June 2001 through January 2010, the Nutrition Clinic was paid approximately $25 million for claims submitted on behalf of clinic patients.
“On June 13, 2011, a federal arrest warrant was issued by the United States District Court in Springfield, Illinois, after Gupta was charged with the following crimes: seven counts of mail fraud; two counts of health care fraud; and one count of conspiracy.”
Gupta has ties in Los Angeles; London, England; Mumbai, India; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Canada; Estonia; and Finland, according to the FBI.
The FBI is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to the arrest of Gupta.
In addition to owning many properties throughout downtown Rockford and the area, Gupta was also the owner of the building that includes The Rock River Times’ offices.
Posted Oct. 15, 2012
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