Money and House of Doctor Indicted for Conspiracy to Commit Healthcare Fraud Forfeited in Jury Trial
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A jury returned a verdict in favor of forfeiting money and the house of Dr. Mert Kivanc, previously of Fairfax, Va., who has been indicted for healthcare fraud and conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance.
Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and James W. McJunkin, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, made the announcement after the verdict was accepted by United States District Judge Liam O’Grady.
According to court records and evidence at trial, Kivanc was suspected of overbilling insurance companies nearly $3.7 million for Remicade, a costly medication used to treat arthritis.
After learning that the FBI was investigating his medical practice, Kivanc, a dual citizen of the United States and Turkey, transferred his house and more than $1 million to his parents before fleeing the United States for Turkey. Even after the title transfer of the house occurred, Kivanc continued to pay more than $430,000 in renovation costs for the house. Additional money transferred to the parents’ bank accounts was disguised in bank records as construction costs for the house. On Feb. 9, 2012, the jury found that Kivanc engaged in money laundering and more than $680,000 in healthcare fraud proceeds were traceable directly to his house and a bank account in his parents’ name. The jury rejected argument by Kivanc’s parents that they were innocent owners of the house and money.
Kivanc remains under indictment, and the investigation remains ongoing. Criminal indictments are only charges and not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty.
The jury finding that Kivanc engaged in a conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud and money laundering were necessary for the civil forfeiture of his house and money, but they should not be considered as findings of his guilt.
This case was investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office. Assistant United States Attorney Karen Ledbetter Taylor of the Eastern District of Virginia and Trial Attorney Brian Harrison of the Department of Justice’s Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States.