OAKLAND – Today, the Hon. Jon S. Tigar, U.S. District Judge, sentenced Anthony Giovanni Montanelli to a year and a day in prison and ordered him to pay $1.2 million in restitution within 90 days for his role in a conspiracy to commit mail fraud in connection with a scheme to embezzle medical equipment owned by Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and Health Plan, Inc. (Kaiser). Judge Tigar ordered Montanelli’s father and charged co-conspirator, Steven John Montanelli, to serve a five year term of probation for his role in the scheme and ordered him jointly responsible to pay $1.2 million in restitution to Kaiser. The announcement was made by United States Attorney Stephanie M. Hinds and Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Sean Ragan.
Anthony Montanelli, 34, and his father Steven Montanelli, 63, both of San Ramon, pleaded guilty to the charges on January 14, 2022. According to the plea agreements, the defendants worked as biomedical engineers at Kaiser, responsible for repairing and servicing Kaiser ultrasound systems used at its medical facilities located throughout the Bay Area. The defendants used their positions at Kaiser to order new ultrasound parts that were supposed to be used to repair, replace, and/or maintain Kaiser’s medical equipment, but instead were diverted to their own business, Pacific Coast Imaging (PCI). The defendants then sold the diverted parts through PCI for their own profit. The father and son also admitted operating their scheme and business, which they did not disclose to Kaiser, while being paid by Kaiser to service Kaiser-owned equipment.
The defendants admitted that, beginning February 2010 and continuing through about April of 2018, they worked together to defraud Kaiser. Specifically, the defendants rented storage units in which they stockpiled new, used, and decommissioned Kaiser-owned ultrasound systems and parts. Some of the Kaiser inventory they ordered through Kaiser became PCI inventory, which they sold and leased to PCI customers. The defendants acknowledged that for years they caused Kaiser’s procurement specialists to process, order, and have mailed to them an unknown number of ultrasound parts which they diverted to PCI. Further, the defendants admitted that they recorded parts and/or systems as decommissioned when, in fact, the equipment was diverted to PCI. In sum, both defendants admitted that they diverted Kaiser-owned equipment to PCI, operated PCI while employed by Kaiser, and used work hours paid for by Kaiser to operate PCI. The defendants admitted that the value of the loss to Kaiser resulting from the conspiracy exceeded $1,500,000. Anthony Montanelli had previously tendered a check to Kaiser to pay restitution in the amount of $449,955, bringing the total amount paid and owed in restitution to $1,649,955.
A federal grand jury issued a superseding indictment on June 10, 2021, charging each defendant with one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1349. Both defendants pleaded guilty to the count.
In addition to the prison term and probation, Judge Tigar also ordered each defendant to pay a $150,000 fine. Anthony Montanelli was ordered to surrender on or before July 1, 2022, to begin serving his prison term.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Thomas Green and Garth Hire are prosecuting the case, with the assistance of Kay Konopaske and Noble Hughes. The prosecution was the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.