HCCA CEO served with search warrant at house

Dr. Benny Benzeevi’s home was recently searched as part of an ongoing investigation into Healthcare Conglomerate Associates and its management of the Tulare Local Healthcare District, officials have confirmed.

A search warrant was served on April 4 at 3:50pm by the Tulare County District Attorney’s office and an agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Benzeevi is the chairman and CEO of Healthcare Conglomerate Associates (HCCA); the company formerly managed the district’s Tulare Regional Medical Center under a contract with the district from 2014 until November of 2017.

Attorneys for Benzeevi, and the company, have consistently denied any allegations of wrongdoing.

“It appears that the [Tulare County] DA has been badly mislead, and the taxpayers are paying a high price for it,” Marshall Grossman, an attorney for HCCA, told the Voice.

The District Attorney’s office declined to comment for this article, but the office will be providing an update on the investigation to the Tulare Local Healthcare District’s Board of Directors at its meeting on April 25 at 6:30pm.

Tim Ward, the Tulare County District Attorney, had previously stated that the investigation into HCCA’s management of the Tulare hospital was the “largest investigation ever undertaken” in March, and that his office had support from the California Department of Justice in the investigation.

According to a Statement of Probable Cause, investigators searched for documents from January 1, 2014 to the present day for documents relating to HCCA as well as Vi Healthcare Finance, Tulare Asset Management, Medflow, and Benzeevi’s personal medical LLC. All are controlled by Benzeevi.

The Tulare Local Healthcare District has previously accused HCCA and Benzeevi of executing an unauthorized loan against the district’s assets, and subsequently transferring the money to Tulare Asset Management.

Medflow previously managed the hospital’s emergency department; Vi Healthcare Finance, created in June of 2017, previously entered into an agreement with the Southern Inyo Healthcare District to extend it a line of credit.

In requesting the warrant, officials marked that the warrant was to search for “property or things [that] were used as the means of committing a felony,” and “property or things to be seized consist of any item or constitute any evidence that tends to show a felony has been committed, or tends to show that a particular person has committed a felony.”

The statement of probable cause also shows investigators intended to search for documents relating to operations of the Southern Inyo Hospital and the Southern Inyo Healthcare District — in addition to Tulare — and communications between Dr. Benzeevi and his siblings, Iddo and Dikla Benzeevi.

Investigators seized nine cell phones, multiple laptops, over 20 USB flash drives, multiple tablets, and searched the contents of a black safe. Five of the cell phones were inside of a bag, alongside a Samsung tablet with three $45 Verizon Wireless prepaid cards.

They also took a multitude of documents, including a physicians’ message pad, a “folder containing El Dorado Savings Bank documents,” HCCA and hospital business documents, and “IRS and miscellaneous hospital paperwork.”

Additionally, officials seized a “401(K) Plan-Level Dashboard Report” and “Fiduciary Investment Review.”

The Statement of Probable Cause and other documents are available below.

 

In Depth: Tulare Regional Medical Center

20 thoughts on “HCCA CEO served with search warrant at house

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  1. According to this article, Mr Grossman, the warrant was served by the Tulare DA and the FBI. So it would appear that the FBI was also “badly mislead”. I guess there are “haters” throughout or local and federal government. It never ceases to amaze me how some people have become so convinced of their superiority to others , that when they face any accusation, they feel that they are being persecuted. Ill say it again; I look forward to visiting Bensleezy when he is behind bars.

  2. Has Mr. Ward returned the twenty one thousand dollars he got from Dr. Benzevi?

  3. Iddo Benzeevi himself is absolutely no saint. Through his company Highland Fairview in the Moreno Valley area he has put many hundreds of thousands of dollars into elections there empaneling individuals onto the city council and school board who will rubber stamp any needs of his. He has essentially become the community’s kingpin. They even recently named a major street after the World Logistics Center project that is in an isolated, rural area with nothing around using $100,000 of taxpayer money to do so. None of it was even requested by Benzeevi or his company. Benzeevi nor Highland Fairview never seems to have the income or revenue to fund things of they’re own and want the public to do so. Even a recent city event for youth a flyer created controversy because it for some reason has that company’s logo on it randomly without explanation almost like advertising funded by the city.

    Iddo has owned land there for well over thirty years now trying to sell or lease it under different concepts from airports, housing tracts, commercial centers, and logistics facilities. Each time he promises tens of thousands of jobs, rezones when the real estate market changes to whatever is popular at the time, and is seeking taxpayer funds to build infrastructure near them. None have ever been built. Highland Fairview takes credit for the Skechers distribution center despite the fact they didn’t design, help build, or commission it. All they were involved in was access to the land it was built, nothing more. Benzeevi is a real estate speculator not a credible developer by any means.

    There are many in the Tulare area who have said Benzeevi sought to take over the failing medical centers in Tulare and Lone Pine in order to buy them out as the provisions of it allow his company to do so. I agree this was likely the case. Benzeevi bought cheap, former agricultural land in Moreno Valley in the 1980’s during a real estate boom. He rezoned it hoping to sell or lease it away without actually building. In the early 90’s, he tried to take over redevelopment of former Norton Air Force Base after it got BRACed which was failing to find a developer during an economic downturn in San Bernardino. He probably wanted to acquire the land and sell or lease it as well. In 2013 he tried to acquire rights by the city council of Banning to redevelop the municipal airport there. That facility was failing and has now presently been closed. He probably wanted to acquire the property I suspect too and be able to sell or lease it away himself over time. It wouldn’t be a surprise if he and his brother were looking to do this in Tulare and Inyo Counties also by acquiring the hospital cheaply and then selling them later on when the real estate market was at a higher value.

    Highland Fairview was under criminal investigation in 2013 by the FBI prior as well although that probe went dormant in 2015. They have spent as much possible to prevent recalls of individuals they supported and are presently with current ones going on in Moreno Valley.

    Iddo has worked on different projects with his brother before. In the 1990’s, they attempted a condominium complex together in Orange County and went bankrupt in the process.

    Benzeevi’s business has spent more in elections than building and designing any actual projects in Moreno Valley. Every city council meeting has different individuals who come to be public speakers and repeat over and over again how great the World Logistics Center will be, the jobs it’ll bring, and also how great of a man Benzeevi is. Many of them are friends and relatives of councilmembers he supports financially and work their campaigns as paid canvassers or for Super PACs started by Highland Fairview.

    Like many of the allegations being made here of falsely using money Moreno Valley residents have been suspecting for years now Iddo Benzeevi has been laundering money to different people on the city council, school board, and public to support what essentially is systematic graft there. This includes suspicions and rumors of bribery. One of the former school board members who went to state prison for pimping and pandering once joked to people of getting $5,000 dollars in cash in a bag from Benzeevi several years ago. He was financially supported by Highland Fairview as are others now currently on there including another trustee who has been arrested and cited for street racing, failing to make court appearances, and was called onto resign for social media postings he had. Benzeevi himself wines and dines they individuals at restaurants or meets with them across the street at the offices of Highland Fairview. More is probably going on behind the scenes there. Highland Fairview also leases space from the city which is interesting.

    It wouldn’t surprise me at all if Benzeevi or one of his enterprises his involved in money laundering, bribery, and other types of fraud whether in Tulare County or Moreno Valley.

    Moreno Valley’s current city attorney used to work in a similar capacity for the city of Tulare before coming to the southern part of the state and has been at meetings where Benny Benzeevi has been present.

    This District Attorney and others need to check if any connections exist between Moreno Valley’s situation and that in central California. It’s a tangled web that goes many directions.

    • Patrick, I have a question for you. According to you, the FBI investigated Iddo for 2 years ( 2013-2015) and did not find anything and you still believe his a guilty of all those accusations. You are know better than the FBI? You think he bought out the FBI? Really? I love all the conspiracy theories without any proof. Do you think the earth is still flat because some people thought so? Truth and opinions are widely different. You are entitle to your opinions, but the facts do not support any of what you claimed. The man. Iddo, is walking free and doing well.

      • Truth, Patrick did not say that the FBI “found nothing” . He said that the investigation is “dormant”. I cant vouch for Patrick but I do know that FBI investigations can take many years and that during a lengthy investigation, the FBI does not give public progress reports. Perhaps the investigation will “awaken” thanks to the clumsy money grasping efforts of his half witted brother, Benny. Both the brothers should keep their passports up to date. They will need it if they have the sudden urge to “plant a tree in Israel”.

      • What actual criminal accusations did Patrick even mention? Nor did it say anything about buying off the FBI.

        For someone accusing someone else of not having facts you were incorrect about a lot spoken here.

        Are you on Dr. Benzeevi’s payroll like some on the hospital board were?

  4. Yes, Kumars property needs searching, expose everyone who’s dirty little hands are involved in this mess.

  5. Sounds similar to Kuldip Thusu in Dinuba. He bought the old Alta District hospital property in Dinuba to renovate and build his grand vision of medical businesses. He subdivided and sold off property. He has promised people of Dinuba several businesses to bring in millions but has accomplished nothing that required teamwork. Remember the Indian tractor companies that were going to bring jobs? Nothing. Thusu gives away taxpayer money from his clinic and that is how he looks so benevolent buying votes. What do he and Benzeevi have in common? They both have donated to Tim Ward’s campaign. Thusu does not live in Dinuba. So far only Benzeevi is being investigated.

  6. What about former employees 401k that was never put in yet taken out of paycheck to paycheck and never paid back to us the former employees should get a say so who do we call about that?? Maybe they will see how many emails went to HR yet never replied back to.

  7. Concerned person, would this be a labor board issue?

    Try this number and address:
    Labor Commissioner’soffice/DLSE
    7718 Meany Ave
    Bakersfield, Ca. 93308
    661-587-3060

  8. Day late Mr. Ward you should have done this a few years back when you were asked to help. might have saved some of that money. First warrant served in Oct 2017 at the hospital office. Why wasnt his home done at the same time. Gues he got plenty of warning.

    • The reason why Tim Ward is doing the search warrant now versus back in Oct 2017 is because he wants publicity. He is running for DA again so he needs free advertising and wants to draw attention. If he is genuinely doing this investigation, he should have collected all the materials way back when he first started. This is merely a publicity political stunt on his part. He does not deserve our vote for sure.

      • Truth, read the Visalia Times Delta and the front page of this newspaper. One of the reasons why Tim Ward is pursuing this investigation is that , apparently, $4 Million of IRS money is missing. If that is true, Benny is going to need a lot of lube where he is going! Hey, maybe Benny will learn some new “stunts”

        • The DA won reelection. If he’s just looking for publicity why keep it going?

          Perhaps Benzeevi committed illegal actions while managing the hospital and you’re here to spin it another way?

  9. Ward is grandstanding to be sure. Benny AKA the truth better not have pocketed that cashback from the IRS and put it into the district bank before paying it to his self. Then maybe he will just have to pay back to the county otherwise it may be the smoking gun that gets him some orange jump suit with a number on it.

  10. But the perpetual crisis does continue. This board in their tunnel vision haste seems ready to give away all controls to Community like they are the salvation. They will bring in some flunky idiot like Eaven Rainer whose already working on site this is a perpetual crisis of good smart leadership in this hospital whose real value seems to be providing paying jobs for failed CEOs, thieves, opportunistics and out of work staff.

  11. I just had the strangest thought. I wonder if any of the former Board members who had hired Benzeevi came forward with information to the DA or FBI in their investigation to beef up their search warrants in exchange for immunity.

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