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Former Soviets charged with insurance fraud in New York



by Joseph Earnest December 4, 2014   


Newscast Media NEW YORKThe United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, George Venizelos, the Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), William J. Bratton, Commissioner of the New York City Police Department (NYPD), and Thomas O’Donnell, the Special Agent-in-Charge of the New York Office of the Department of Health and Human Services, announced today the unsealing of an indictment charging ten defendants with operating a massive health care fraud scheme. 


The defendants, who had settled in New York from the former Soviet Union, recruited financially disadvantaged and homeless people insured by Medicare and/or Medicaid (the “Phony Patients”) to undergo unnecessary medical tests, typically performed by unlicensed personnel, at the clinics in exchange for cash, and then billed the insurers for administering those unnecessary tests.

In total, the defendants are alleged to have submitted over $70 million in fraudulent claims to Medicaid and Medicare, for which they fraudulently received over $25 million in insurance payments. Each of the defendants was arrested this morning. All ten defendants are charged with conspiring to commit mail fraud, wire fraud, and health care fraud.

Click here to read or download the entire indictment of the defendants. (pop-up)

FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Venizelos said: “As alleged, the defendants engaged in a systematic scheme to defraud government programs designed to assist deserving patients. Adding insult to injury, the defendants preyed upon vulnerable members of our community, exploiting the less fortunate in furtherance of their criminal activity."

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