Antitrust Law Daily Another former health care staffing exec charged with wage fixing
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Monday, April 19, 2021

Another former health care staffing exec charged with wage fixing

By Jeffrey May, J.D.

Superseding indictment now names both original defendant Neeraj Jindal—the former owner of a Texas-based therapist staffing company—and John Rodgers—the clinical director of Jindal’s company. Both also charged with obstructing earlier FTC investigation, proceedings.

The Department of Justice Antitrust Division’s first criminal case against suspected wage fixing now has two named targets. A federal grand jury in the Eastern District of Texas has returned a superseding indictment that adds a second individual to the case against Neeraj Jindal, the former owner of a Texas-based therapist staffing company providing in-home physical therapy services. The four-count superseding indictment alleges that John Rodgers, a physical therapist and the clinical director of Jindal’s company, also participated in a conspiracy to pay lower rates to certain physical therapists (PTs) and physical therapist assistants (PTAs) in north Texas, including the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area. Both men also were charged with conspiring to obstruct a 2017 FTC investigation and with obstruction of the FTC proceedings. The superseding indictment follows a two-count indictment against Jindal returned in December 2020 (U.S. v. Jindal, Case 4:20-cr-00358-ALM-KPJ).

The Justice Department alleges in the first count that Jindal and Rogers agreed with unnamed co-conspirators to pay lower rates to certain PTs and PTAs, and Jindal’s company paid lower rates, from about March 2017 through about August 2017. Jindal and Rogers are associated with unidentified "Company A." The charge also refers to a "Company B" that competed with Company A to contract with PTs and PTAs.

The remaining three counts detail the purported efforts to hinder an FTC investigation to determine whether Jindal’s company or other therapist staffing companies violated Section 5 of the FTC Act. According to today’s Justice Department announcement, Jindal and Rodgers were charged with conspiring to obstruct and make false statements in proceedings before the FTC and endeavoring to obstruct those proceedings. They allegedly conspired and then made false and misleading statements and withheld and concealed information during the FTC’s investigation.

Earlier FTC investigation. In 2017, the FTC announced a settlement with Jindal, and Your Therapy Source, LLC and that company’s founder/owner Sheri Yarbray, resolving allegations that they violated Section 5 of the FTC Act "by unreasonably restraining competition to offer competitive pay rates to therapists; fixing or decreasing pay rates for therapists; and depriving therapists of the benefits of competition among therapist staffing companies." Jindal was alleged to have been the owner of Fit 4 Life Therapy, LLC, a business he eventually sold. That business was not named in the FTC matter.

The case is No. 4:20-cr-00358-ALM-KPJ.

Attorneys: Jariel A. Rendell, U.S. Department of Justice. Paul Edward Coggins (Locke Lord LLP) for Neeraj Jindal. Brian Daniel Poe (Brian D. Poe, Attorney at Law, PLLC) for John Rodgers.

Companies: Fit 4 Life Therapy, LLC; Your Therapy Source, LLC

MainStory: TopStory Antitrust AntitrustDivisionNews FederalTradeCommissionNews GCNNews TexasNews

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