The owner of a clinic in Brooklyn that billed Medicare for more than $77 million for services that were medically unnecessary or never provided was sentenced to serve 15 years in prison, ordered to forfeit over $36 million and pay over $50 million in restitution. The clinic owner joins 13 other individuals convicted in the case.
Evidence at trial showed that the clinic owner and clinic employees billed Medicare for fraudulent medical services and procedures, including physician office visits, physical therapy and diagnostic tests. An unlicensed physician served as the clinic’s doctor, and the clinic owner ordered employees to create phony medical records. An audio and video recording captured the defendants paying approximately $500,000 in cash kickbacks over a 6 week period to induce Medicare beneficiaries to receive unnecessary medical services or to stay silent regarding services billed, but not performed. The video captured a Soviet-era poster hanging in the room used to dispense the kickbacks depicting a woman with her finger to her lips and the words “Don’t Gossip” in Russian. The clinic owner oversaw a network of external money launderers through various shell companies who cashed clinic checks and provided cash back to the clinic.
The Department of Justice news release is available at:
Department of Justice. “Brooklyn Clinic Owner Sentenced for Role in $77 Million Medicare Fraud Scheme.” Justice News. 12 Nov. 2013.