Travis Gober, 44, of Hanford, pleaded guilty to health care fraud and aggravated identity theft charges for submitting over $1 million in fraudulent claims for sleep studies to Medicare, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.
According to court records, Gober owned the VIP Sleep Center, which operated sleep clinics in Fresno and Tulare Counties. Sleep clinics perform diagnostic sleep studies on patients to identify disorders like sleep apnea and narcolepsy.
From October 2019 through September 2021, Gober caused the VIP Sleep Center to submit thousands of claims to Medicare, which is a federally funded health care insurance program, for sleep studies that were not actually performed on patients. The claims also falsely stated that the patients had been referred for the sleep studies by physicians with whom Gober had previously worked. This was done because Medicare will not pay for a sleep study unless the patient was referred by a physician.
Gober committed this fraud, at least in part, to try to pay debts and address other financial difficulties that his brother, Jeremy Gober, had caused the VIP Sleep Center and him to incur without his knowledge or consent.
This case is the product of an investigation by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the California Department of Health Care Services. Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Barton is prosecuting the case.
Travis Gober is scheduled to be sentenced by Jennifer L. Thurston on Jan. 16, 2024. Gober faces a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison for the health care fraud conviction, and an additional, mandatory two years in prison for the identity theft conviction. His actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.
Travis Gober’s brother, Jeremy Gober, was previously charged with health care fraud and identity theft related to other sleep clinics in the Central Valley in December 2022. The charges are only allegations. Jeremy Gober is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.