Man Pleads Guilty to $1.9M Baby Formula Fraud Scheme
A New York man pleaded guilty today to defrauding insurance plans and medical suppliers by fraudulently procuring specialty baby formula.
According to court documents, Vladislav Kotlyar, 43, of Staten Island, submitted and caused the submission of forged prescriptions and medical records for specialty baby formula that was paid for by health insurers. Kotlyar obtained prescriptions and medical records for infants who were prescribed specialty baby formula and forged those records to obtain additional specialty baby formula. After receiving the specialty baby formula, Kotlyar fabricated issues with the shipments, including by falsely claiming they were damaged or the incorrect formula to acquire additional formula at no additional cost. Kotlyar then sold the fraudulently obtained formula. As part of the scheme, Kotlyar and his co-conspirators submitted more than $1.9 million in fraudulent claims to health insurers, including during a national shortage of baby formula. Kotlyar agreed to forfeit approximately $1 million and repay more than $738,000 in restitution.
Kotlyar pleaded guilty to mail fraud and faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. A sentencing date has not been set. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Breon Peace for the Eastern District of New York, and Assistant Director in Charge Michael J. Driscoll of the FBI New York Field Office made the announcement.
The FBI is investigating the case.
Trial Attorney Patrick J. Campbell of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section is prosecuting the case.
The Fraud Section leads the Criminal Division’s efforts to combat health care fraud through the Health Care Fraud Strike Force Program. Since March 2007, this program, comprised of 15 strike forces operating in 25 federal districts, has charged more than 5,000 defendants who collectively have billed federal health care programs and private insurers more than $24 billion. In addition, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, working in conjunction with the Office of the Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services, are taking steps to hold providers accountable for their involvement in health care fraud schemes. More information can be found at https://www.justice.gov/criminal-fraud/health-care-fraud-unit.