The head of a medical clinic in the United States was sentenced to 13 years in prison for his role in a vast multimillion-dollar health care kickback and money laundering conspiracy, the Department of Justice reports.
Aleksandr Pikus, 45, of Brooklyn, New York, was sentenced by U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of New York. Judge also ordered Pikus to pay $39.4 million in restitution and to forfeit $2,6 million.
– For nearly a decade, Aleksandr Pikus stole millions of dollars from the federal Medicare and Medicaid programs in a major healthcare kickback, money laundering and tax fraud scheme, – said Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian C. Rabbitt of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.
Pikus and his co-conspirators perpetrated a scheme through a series of medical clinics in Brooklyn and Queens that employed doctors and other medical personnel who were enrolled in Medicare and Medicaid programs.
In return for illegal kickbacks, Pikus referred beneficiaries to these health care providers, who submitted claims to the Medicare and Medicaid programs.
Pikus and his co-conspirators then laundered a substantial portion of the proceeds of these claims through companies he controlled, including by cashing checks at several New York City check-cashing businesses.
More than 25 other individuals have pleaded guilty to or been convicted of participating in the scheme, including physicians, physical and occupational therapists, ambulette drivers, and the owners of several of the shell companies used to launder the stolen money.
Since its inception in March 2007, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force has charged more than 4,200 defendants who have collectively billed the Medicare program for approximately $19 billion.