San Fernando Valley Woman Sentenced to Over 3 Years in Prison for Running $11.5 Million Sleep Study Scam Bilking UPS and Costco
LOS ANGELES – The former owner of a Studio City medical clinic was sentenced today to 37 months in federal prison for causing more than $11.5 million in bills to be submitted to health care benefit programs for unnecessary – and sometimes nonexistent – sleep studies, primarily for employees of United Parcel Service, Inc., and Costco Wholesale Corp.
Anna Vishnevsky, 52, of Valley Village, was sentenced by United States District Judge George H. Wu, who also ordered her to pay $2,747,071 in restitution.
Vishnevsky, who owned Atlas Diagnostic Services, Inc., pleaded guilty in November 2018 to one count of health care fraud.
From March 2014 until June 2016, Vishnevsky participated in a scheme to defraud health care benefit plans. Vishnevsky and others working at her direction recruited patients to participate in sleep study testing at Atlas by offering them cash. She also offered them additional cash if they brought in other sleep study participants, including their co-workers and relatives.
Vishnevsky recruited patients, knowing that no doctor had prescribed sleep study testing for them and regardless of whether the testing was medically necessary or appropriate. Vishnevsky did not score or interpret the data from the testing or send it to anyone who could score or interpret it, which is necessary for diagnosis and treatment.
She submitted insurance claims for sleep study testing performed on the recruited patients, listing physicians that had never treated the patients. She also billed not only for the one night of sleep study testing that the patients had purportedly undergone – regardless of medical necessity – but also for an additional, consecutive night of sleep study testing that was never performed.
In total, Vishnevsky submitted more than $11.5 million in fraudulent insurance claims to health care benefit plans. She received approximately $3 million on those claims, of which $2,747,071 is still outstanding.
“(Vishnevsky’s) criminal activity victimized not only the plans, but also plan participants recruited into the scheme, as many of them have been required to pay back fraudulent insurance claims submitted using their names (on penalty of losing their health insurance),” prosecutors wrote in their sentencing memorandum.
A co-defendant, Eddie Hernandez, 46, of Torrance, pleaded guilty in November 2018 to one count of health care fraud and is serving a 30-month federal prison sentence in this case. Hernandez was a UPS driver who helped Vishnevsky recruit people to participate in the fraudulent sleep studies.
The United States Department of Labor - Employee Benefits Security Administration, the Department of Labor - Office of Inspector General, the FBI, and the Office of Personnel Management - Office of Inspector General investigated this matter.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Kerry L. Quinn of the Major Frauds Section.