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ANAHIT HOVHANNISYAN AND HEALTH GUARD, INC. PLEAD GUILTY TO CONSPIRACY TO COMMIT HEALTH CARE FRAUD VIOLATIONS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 3, 2013

ANAHIT HOVHANNISYAN, age 34, of Armenia, pled guilty on Monday, July 1, 2013, to health care fraud.  HEALTH GUARD, INC., a Louisiana corporation that operated as a medical clinic, also plead guilty to a health care fraud conspiracy.   The pleas were entered before U. S. District Court Judge Lance M. Africk, announced U. S. Attorney Dana Boente.

According to the Second Superseding Indictment, the defendants participated in a criminal organization for the purpose of fraudulently billing Medicare and Medicaid.  Patients went to HEALTH GUARD, INC. for medical tests that were not performed or medically necessary.  Patients were moved between other commonly owned health care clinics to HEALTH GUARD, INC. to repeatedly perform the same unnecessary tests.  Five other clinics and their owners have already been sentenced for the same activity.   According to the Second Superseding Indictment, if the patients refused the diagnostic tests at HEALTH GUARD, INC., prescriptions for narcotic drugs were withheld.  Thereafter, bills for the unnecessary services were submitted to Medicare and Medicaid.  HOVHANNISYAN was the owner of HEALTH GUARD, INC., and also an unlicensed and unqualified diagnostic technician, according to the indictment.

The Second Superseding Indictment to which HOVHANNISYAN pled guilty carries a possible maximum sentence of ten (10) years imprisonment.   Sentencing has been scheduled for September 26, 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. Attorney Patrice Harris Sullivan.

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