I-TEAM: Former Baton Rouge telehealth CEO ordered to surrender by August
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Former health business mogul Vishal Vasanji has a little over a month before he must turn himself in to Louisiana’s Attorney General’s Office.
The upcoming surrender stems from a federal investigation that found Vasanji allegedly coaxed money for car payments, cleaning services, grocery delivery services, and private school tuition from investors who thought their cash would be spent building a Baton Rouge-based telehealth company.
More than four investors lost somewhere between $175,000 and $291,000 by giving money to Vasanji to support a company called Relief Telemed, a mobile application that connects patients to doctors via video chat, according to federal court records. A federal bill of information identifies Vasanji as Relief Telemed’s CEO between 2018 and 2021, the same time that Vasanji’s alleged scheme occurred.
Other federal court records state that Vasanji also spent the cash invested in the company at restaurants and retail stores.
The federal court accepted a plea agreement from Vasanji in December of 2022 which required Vasanji to plead guilty to one count of federal wire fraud.
At sentencing Thursday, July 20, Judge Brian Jackson ordered Vasanji to surrender to federal authorities by August 24. The length of his prison stay is not published in the court’s record. Attorneys close to the case were not authorized to discuss the length of the sentence.
The maximum penalty listed in the plea agreement includes a term of imprisonment of 20 years, a fine of up to $250,000 or twice the gross gain or twice the gross loss, whichever is greater, and a term of supervised release of three years. The Court was also allowed to order Vasanji to pay restitution under the plea agreement.
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