After federal agents executed search warrants this week at several Sovereign Health locations, its office in San Clemente, Calif., the home of CEO Tonmoy Sharma, and nearby Vendanta Laboratories, Sovereign Health issued a statement Thursday, saying the way the raids were executed was “a disgrace.” Sharma said the organization has nothing to hide and would have complied with requests from investigators if asked.
Additionally, the statement describes agents threatening staff at gunpoint, breaking a door down and causing distress for clients.
“This whole thing was ridiculous, so Mickey Mouse," Sharma said in the statement.
Sovereign has combatted not-in-my-backyard issues with neighborhood residents and state officials in California and has filed a number of lawsuits. The organization also believes there is a pattern of harassment by officials from the California Department of Social Services’ licensing division.
On Sovereign’s website, the company’s general counsel, Seth Zajac, noted that the papers served in the search on Tuesday contained language similar to that of a counterclaim filed by insurer Health Net against Sovereign in a separate dispute. Health Net and behavioral health providers in California have been at odds over fraud investigations and withheld reimbursement for more than a year.
Zajac said in the online post that in executing search warrants, the federal agents were “acting in the interests of privately-held insurance giants, and not in the interest of the public good.”
Read more about the search here.