February 27, 2015

Brooklyn Doctor Sentenced in Manhattan Federal Court to One Year and One Day in Prison for Role in Auto Insurance Fraud Scheme

Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that TATYANA GABINSKAYA was sentenced today in Manhattan federal court to one year and one day in prison in connection with her involvement in the largest single no-fault automobile insurance fraud scheme ever charged. She was sentenced by U.S. District Judge J. Paul Oetken, who presided over the two-week trial that resulted in GABINSKAYA’s conviction in October 2014.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “Tatyana Gabinskaya was one of the linchpins in a scheme that defrauded insurers on an unprecedented scale. At the heart of her deception was her repeated lie that she owned and operated a medical clinic she did not in fact own or operate that billed for numerous fraudulent claims. That has proven to be a prescription for prison.”

According to the Indictment, other documents filed in Manhattan federal court, evidence admitted at trial, and statements made at various proceedings in this case, including today’s sentencing:

Under New York State Law, every vehicle registered in the State is required to have no-fault automobile insurance, which enables the driver and passengers of a registered and insured vehicle to obtain benefits of up to $50,000 per person for injuries sustained in an automobile accident, regardless of fault (the “No-Fault Law”). The No-Fault Law requires prompt payment for medical treatment, thereby obviating the need for claimants to file personal injury lawsuits in order to be reimbursed. Under the No-Fault Law, patients can assign their right to reimbursement from an insurance company to others, including medical clinics that provide treatment for their injuries. New York State Law also requires that all medical clinics in the State be incorporated, owned, operated, and/or controlled by a licensed medical practitioner in order to be eligible for reimbursement under the No-Fault Law. Insurance companies will not honor claims for medical treatments from a medical clinic that is not actually owned, operated, and controlled by a licensed medical practitioner.

In order to mislead New York authorities and private insurers, the true owners of these medical clinics paid licensed doctors to use their licenses to incorporate the professional corporations through which the true owners billed private insurers millions of dollars for medical treatments and tests, many of which were not medically necessary. GABINSKAYA was the stated owner of one such clinic that provided MRIs and other radiology tests, although the clinic was, in reality, owned by her co-defendants Mikhail Zemlyansky and Michael Danilovich. In addition, GABINSKAYA was the stated owner of six other medical professional corporations, including five incorporated in the span of approximately one year. When interviewed under oath about her role at the clinic controlled by Zemlyansky and Danilovich, GABINSKAYA repeatedly lied to deceive the insurers and induce them into paying claims that were not eligible for reimbursement.

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In addition to the prison term, GABINSKAYA, 60, of Brooklyn, New York, was also sentenced to three years of supervised release, and ordered to forfeit $69,384, and to pay restitution to the victims of her crimes to be determined. She is the 32nd defendant convicted in this case following arrests on February 29, 2012, as part of an indictment that charged 36 defendants with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and health care fraud and charging some defendants with racketeering and money laundering.

U.S. Attorney Bharara thanked the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the New York City Police Department for their continued outstanding work in this investigation. He also thanked the National Insurance Crime Bureau for its assistance.

The case is being prosecuted by the Office’s Violent and Organized Crime Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Amanda Kramer, Janis Echenberg, Daniel S. Goldman, Edward Y. Kim, Daniel S. Noble, Rebecca Mermelstein, and Joshua Naftalis are in charge of the prosecution. Assistant U.S. Attorney Carolina Fornos is in charge of the forfeiture aspects of the case.