Former Hitachi Executive Guilty Of Defrauding Health Care Plan of Six Million Dollars – US Law

LAWFUEL.COM – Legal Announcement Service
LEV L. DASSIN, the Acting United States Attorney for
the Southern District of New York, announced today that DENNIS M.
DOWD, formerly the senior manager of human resources of Hitachi
America Ltd. (“Hitachi America”), a New York- and Californiabased
corporation, pleaded guilty before United States Magistrate
Judge ANDREW J. PECK to charges arising out of a scheme to
defraud the Hitachi America Ltd. Group Health and Welfare Plan
(the “Plan”) of approximately $6.1 million.

According to the Complaint, the Information, and
statements made in court in connection with DOWD’s guilty plea:
Hitachi America is a subsidiary of Hitachi Ltd., a
Japanese corporation, and manufactures and markets electronic
equipment, computer systems, and consumer electronics, among
other products, as well as providing industrial equipment and
services throughout North America. Hitachi America maintained
the Plan to provide health benefits to eligible employees of
Hitachi America and certain of its corporate affiliates.
DOWD was hired by Hitachi America in 1979 and was a
senior manager of corporate benefits for Hitachi America until
March of 2008. He was responsible for managing various aspects
of Hitachi America’s employee benefits programs, including the
Plan.

In January 1997, DOWD opened a bank account in the name
“Hitachi Group Insurance Health and Welfare Trust”, an account
whose creation was not authorized by Hitachi America. Between
2000 and early 2008, DOWD deposited approximately $8 million into
that account, approximately $4.9 million of which were payments
from an excess insurer (which covered beneficiary payments that
exceeded certain dollar limits) to the Plan. Checks totaling an
additional approximately $2.9 million from, among other entities,
insurance companies and health care providers that were made
payable to the Plan or to Hitachi America or a corporate
affiliate, were also deposited into the account.

DOWD used the account to pay for personal and family
expenses, including, among other things: at least $1 million in
payments to credit cards held in DOWD’s name that were used to
purchase, among other things, consumer goods; at least $2 million
in checks made payable to DOWD using various spellings of DOWD’s
name; approximately $42,000 for a Lexus automobile registered to
DOWD; and approximately $625,000 to purchase a house in Vero
Beach, Florida. Of the approximately $8 million dollars
deposited into the account, it appears that DOWD remitted a total
of only approximately $1.9 million back to Hitachi.

DOWD, 52, of Yorktown Heights, New York, pleaded guilty
to one count of health care fraud and one count of money
laundering. DOWD faces a total maximum sentence of 20 years in
prison. He also agreed to the forfeiture of $6,100,000 in United
States currency, several bank accounts, a Lexus automobile, and
real property located in Point Lookout, New York, and Vero Beach,
Florida. He is scheduled to be sentenced before United States
District Judge COLLEEN McMAHON on June 11, 2009.

Mr. DASSIN praised the work of the United States
Department of Labor Office of Inspector General, New York Office
of the United States Department of Labor Employee Benefits
Security Administration, and the Internal Revenue Service
Criminal Investigations.

This case is being prosecuted by the Office’s Major
Crimes Unit. Assistant United States Attorneys JOSEPH P.
FACCIPONTI and ANNA E. ARREOLA are in charge of the prosecution.
09-057 ###

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