Thursday, August 9, 2012

Medicare Fraud Carries Stiff Prison Sentences

A former husband and wife will spend the next three years in separate prison cells for defrauding Medicare and Medicaid of approximately $4 million.  In addition, they will lose a home, pay $480,000 to a State Medicaid program, and spend another three years on supervised release.

Leonid and Yelena Stolyar pleaded guilty in a federal court in Colorado to conspiracy to commit health care fraud and money laundering.  The government alleged that they submitted false claims to government healthcare programs for durable medical equipment.  Cooperating beneficiaries provided evidence of false and fraudulent claims submitted to Medicare and Medicaid, including some claims for equipment that was never provided to the beneficiary.

According to the government, the former couple exacerbated the situation by continuing to bill Medicare and Medicaid even after the wife pleaded guilty and was excluded from participating in federal healthcare programs.  The government alleged that they did this by concealing the fact that the wife was still involved in, and benefiting from, their durable medical equipment business.

Part of the evidence against the former couple came from their divorce settlement -- which acknowledged the wife's ownership interest in the durable medical equipment business and provided that she would still receive income from that business even after she was excluded from federal government healthcare programs.

The moral of the story is:  Do not try to play games with the government.  If you are being investigated by the government for healthcare fraud, or if you believe that your employer is engaged in healthcare fraud, then you should consult with an experienced lawyer immediately.  To schedule a free initial consultation by telephone or in person, call my office today at (212) 601-2728 or click here to communicate with me via email.

John Howley
New York, New York

Sources: U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Colorado, Press Release

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