Seven Individuals and Five Corporations Sentenced for Health Care Fraud and Conspiracy to Commit Health Care Fraud
|U.S. Attorney’s Office January 11, 2013|
NEW ORLEANS—Dr. Jack Voight, age 81, of Metairie, Louisiana, and Ernestine Girod, age 47, of Gretna, Louisiana, were sentenced today by U.S. District Court Judge Lance M. Africk for their roles in a sweeping health care fraud scheme, announced U.S. Attorney Dana J. Boente. Voight was sentenced to 24 months’ imprisonment followed by 13 months of home confinement and ordered to immediately pay a $25,000 fine. Girod was sentenced to six months in a halfway house.
On December 6 and 7, 2012, five individuals and the corporations they owned were sentenced for their roles in the health care fraud and money laundering scheme. Daria Litvinova, age 25, of Metairie, Louisiana, was sentenced to 20 months’ imprisonment for conspiracy to commit health care fraud. Vadim Mysak, age 25, of Kenner, Louisiana, was sentenced to 49 months’ imprisonment for conspiracy to commit health care fraud and money laundering. Two Louisiana corporations, Metairie Health Care Inc., owned by Litvinova, and New Millennium Medical Group Inc., owned by Mysak, were sentenced to five years’ probation for conspiracy to commit health care fraud. Anna Aivazova, age 43, of Sherman Oaks, California, was sentenced to 30 months’ imprisonment for conspiracy to commit health care fraud. Her company, Solo Lucky, a California corporation, was sentenced to five years’ probation for its role in the fraudulent billing scheme. Artem Gasparyan, age 56, of Metairie, Louisiana, was sentenced to 37 months’ imprisonment for conspiracy to commit health care fraud. Aram Khlgatian, age 56, of Metairie, Louisiana, was sentenced to 108 months’ imprisonment for health care fraud. Health Plus Consulting Inc. and Saturn Medical Group, both Louisiana corporations, were sentenced to five years’ probation for conspiracy to commit health care fraud.
According to the superseding indictment, all the defendants participated in a criminal organization for the purpose of fraudulently billing Medicare and Medicaid. Recruiters such as Girod found patients to bring to the indicted medical clinics for medical tests that were not performed and not medically necessary. The clinics’ patients were moved between the various clinics and repeatedly underwent the same unnecessary tests. According to the superseding indictment, the doctors, including Voight, gave the patients prescriptions for drugs, usually narcotics, for their cooperation, and the recruiters were provided cash and prescription drugs for their services. Thereafter, bills for the false and unnecessary services were submitted to Medicaid and Medicare by Solo Lucky, a medical claims processing and billing company owned by Aivazova, that worked with most of the indicted New Orleans-area clinics. In return, Aivazova was paid a fee for each amount billed.
Once Medicare and Medicaid paid the clinics, Mysak conspired with another individual to engage in a series of financial transactions designed to disguise the fact that they had obtained the money unlawfully and hide the funds from Medicare and Medicaid. In particular, Mysak purchased used medical equipment on behalf of the medical clinics from a California medical equipment company. The prices Mysak paid for the used medical equipment was significantly more than the value of the medical equipment. Often brand new medical equipment could have been purchased for much less than Mysak and the medical clinics paid for the used equipment. Mysak also paid exorbitant repair fees to supposedly repair the already outdated equipment when the repairs never actually happened. In total, the clinics, through Mysak and others, paid the California co-conspirator more than $2,700,000 between January 2009 and April 2011.
All the defendants were ordered to pay restitution to Medicare and Medicaid for all money they received in the fraudulent scheme totaling more than $9 million.
“The integrity of Medicare and Medicaid payments is a priority of the Department of Justice,” said U.S. Attorney Dana J. Boente. “This office will continue its vigilant investigations and prosecutions of those who attempt to defraud the health care system.”
“This aggressive multi-agency effort has dismantled a significant health care fraud operation and sends a clear message to those who rob taxpayer dollars and exploit vulnerable residents that depend on Medicaid and Medicare for care,” added Louisiana State Attorney General Buddy Caldwell.
Sentencing on Dr. Jerry Haskin and Dr. Yelena Ivanova, two other physicians involved in the scheme, is schedule for January 24, 2013.
The investigation was conducted by special agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General; and the Louisiana Department of Justice, Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Patrice Harris Sullivan, G. Dall Kammer, Jordan Ginsberg, and Juliana Etland.