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August 30, 2012
DURABLE MEDICAL EQUIPMENT SUPPLIER PLEADS GUILTY TO DEFRAUDING MEDICARE AND MEDICAID OF MORE THAN $1 MILLION
Igor Pokrasov, the Chief Executive Officer of Comfy Orthopedic Footwear, Inc., located in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, pleaded guilty today to a health care fraud conspiracy charge for falsely billing Medicare and Medicaid for unauthorized services and products. The proceeding was held before United States District Judge Raymond J. Dearie at the federal courthouse in Brooklyn, New York.
The guilty plea was announced by Loretta E. Lynch, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and Thomas O’Donnell, Special Agent-in-Charge of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of the Inspector General (OIG), Office of Investigations, New York.
Between approximately September 2006 and July 2010, Pokrasov and his co-conspirators submitted claims for services and products to Medicare and Medicaid that represented that Pokrasov had provided customers with customized shoe inserts and shoes that were an integral part of a leg brace and that the customers were seen at a facility approved by either Medicare or Medicaid. In fact, Pokrasov’s store in Brighton was not authorized by Medicare or Medicaid to provide goods and services or submit any claims, it did not have an approved medical professional on site as required, and the shoes and shoe inserts that it provided to customers were not customized to be an integral part of a leg brace. Through this fraud, Pokrasov and his co-conspirators defrauded Medicare and Medicaid of more than $1 million.
“Medicare and Medicaid are important programs intended to provide assistance to the most vulnerable members of our society. Pokrasov stood in the shoes of the truly needy and used lies and deception to line his own pockets. He also stepped into the sights of law enforcement,” said United States Attorney Lynch. “We will continue to investigate and prosecute those who would threaten the strength of our medical insurance safety net.” Ms. Lynch expressed her grateful appreciation to Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General, for its assistance.
When sentenced, Pokrasov faces a maximum sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment.
The government’s case was brought by the Brooklyn Medicare Strike Force and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys William P. Campos and Claire S. Kedeshian, and Trial Attorney Arunabha Bhoumik of the Department of Justice Fraud Section.
Residence: Brooklyn, New York