WASHINGTON – A Brooklyn, N.Y., board-certified colorectal surgeon, who owned and operated a New York medical clinic, was sentenced today to serve 30 months in prison for his role in a fraud scheme that billed Medicare and more than 10 private insurance companies for surgeries and other complex medical procedures that were never performed, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Acting Assistant Director in Charge George Venizelos of the FBI’s New York Field Office and Special Agent in Charge Thomas O’Donnell of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG) New York Regional Office.
Dr. Boris Sachakov, 43, of Brooklyn, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Jack Weinstein in the Eastern District of New York. In addition to his prison term, Sachakov was sentenced to serve three years of supervised release, pay forfeiture of $1,103,069 and pay restitution of $1,103,069 to the victims of his crimes, Medicare and numerous private insurance plans.
Sachakov was found guilty by a jury on June 13, 2012, after a two-week trial in federal court in Brooklyn. Sachakov was found guilty of one count of health care fraud and five counts of health care false statements. The trial evidence showed that from January 2008 to January 2010, Sachakov, who owned and operated a clinic called Colon and Rectal Care of New York P.C., defrauded Medicare and private insurance companies by billing for surgeries and medical services that he never provided. According to trial testimony, several private insurance companies began investigating Sachakov after receiving complaints from patients that Sachakov had submitted claims for surgeries, including hemorrhoidectomies, that he never performed.
At trial, 11 of Sachakov’s patients testified that they had not received the surgeries and other medical services for which Sachakov had billed their insurance companies. The evidence presented at trial showed that the medical records Sachakov created and maintained on these patients, including letters to the patient’s referring doctors, did not support the extensive billings he submitted. After Sachakov was confronted by two insurance companies about complaints of billings for surgeries that did not happen, the evidence at trial showed that Sachakov sent letters to his patients, asking them to falsely certify in writing that they had received the phony surgeries. The indictment alleged that Sachakov submitted and caused the submission of more than $22.6 million in false and fraudulent claims to Medicare and private insurance companies, and received more than $9 million on those claims.
The case was prosecuted by Trial Attorney Sarah M. Hall and Assistant Chief William Pericak of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section, with assistance from Fraud Section Trial Attorneys Arun Bhoumik and Bryan Fields. The case was investigated by the FBI, HHS-OIG, the New York State Office of Medicaid Inspector General and the New York State Department of Financial Services, Criminal Investigative Division.
The case was brought as part of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, supervised by the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section. The Medicare Fraud Strike Force operations are part of the Health Care Fraud Prevention & Enforcement Action Team (HEAT), a joint initiative announced in May 2009 between the Department of Justice and HHS to focus their efforts to prevent and deter fraud and enforce current anti-fraud laws around the country.
Since its inception in March 2007, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, now operating in nine cities across the country, has charged more than 1,480 defendants who have collectively billed the Medicare program for more than $4.8 billion. In addition, HHS’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, working in conjunction with HHS-OIG, is taking steps to increase accountability and decrease the presence of fraudulent providers.
To learn more about the Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team (HEAT), go to: www.stopmedicarefraud.gov.