An FBI raid from the other side – Orange County Register

Tonmoy Sharma has a huge job; chief executive of Sovereign Health, a mental health and addiction provider with its headquarters in San Clemente and a footprint throughout Southern California and several states and India.

Still, Sharma considers himself a man under siege, a David battling Goliaths.

He sits in the same conference room where he says the FBI imprisoned his company’s legal staff, as agents rifled through privileged documents. He says the raid was the latest example of big money manipulating the strong arm of government.

Other people look at Sharma differently.  At least one insurer considers him a purveyor of fraud. One medical board — in Great Britain — considers him ethically challenged. The U.S. Dept. of Justice considers Sharma’s health care empire part of a criminal probe.

Those forces, Sharma says, are trying to crush him. As evidence, he recounts the raid.

On what began as a regular Tuesday in June, dozens of law enforcement agents stormed Sovereign’s offices and related centers waving guns, seizing computers, scaring workers and confusing already-fragile patients, he said. State licensing officials were there, too, handing out lists of alternate treatment providers to patients, even though Sovereign remains open – what he calls state-sponsored patient-brokering. With incredulity – and rage – he notes that the FBI even hauled a battering ram to the door of a Sovereign-affiliated laboratory.

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