Leader and Members of Moscow-Based Health Care Fraud and Money Laundering Conspiracy Charged in International Telemedicine Scheme
An indictment was returned yesterday in Central Islip charging Dr. Perry Frankel with three counts of health care fraud for an alleged scheme to defraud Medicare and Medicaid of over $1.3 million in claims that were billed during the COVID-19 health emergency in connection with COVID-19 testing. Frankel, a cardiologist and the owner and operator of Advanced Cardiovascular Diagnostics PLLC, allegedly caused the submission of claims to Medicare and Medicaid for office visits that were not performed for patients who received COVID-19 tests at Advanced Cardiovascular Diagnostics PLLC’s mobile testing sites across Long Island, including on dates when Frankel was not present in the state of New York. Frankel was arrested this morning and will be arraigned this afternoon before United States District Judge Joanna Seybert.
Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; and Scott J. Lampert, Special Agent-in-Charge, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General’s Office of Investigations (HHS-OIG), announced the charges.
“As alleged, exploiting a public health crisis by using patients who received COVID-19 tests at mobile testing sites to fraudulently bill Medicare and Medicaid for fictitious office visits is reprehensible,” stated United States Attorney Peace. “This Office and our law enforcement partners will vigorously prosecute those who take advantage of the pandemic to steal from taxpayer-funded programs."
“As alleged, Frankel took advantage of the COVID-19 health crisis to engage in a fraud scheme that undermined our health care system and the people it serves,” said HHS-OIG Special Agent in Charge Lampert. “Such scams waste taxpayer funds and drive up healthcare costs for all of us. HHS-OIG and our law enforcement partners will remain vigilant in our efforts to root out all related fraud schemes during the ongoing public health emergency.”
“The Department of Justice’s Health Care Fraud Unit and our partners are dedicated to rooting out schemes that have exploited the pandemic,” said Assistant Attorney General Polite. “Today’s enforcement action reinforces our commitment to using all available tools to hold accountable medical professionals, corporate executives, and others who have placed greed above care during an unprecedented public health emergency.”
The charges filed in Central Islip are part of a coordinated health care fraud enforcement action across nine federal districts, led by the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, that resulted in criminal charges against 21 defendants for their alleged participation in health care fraud schemes related to COVID-19 involving more than $149 million in false and fraudulent claims.
HHS-OIG is investigating the case, which was brought as part of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force under the supervision of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York and the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section. Trial Attorneys Kelly M. Lyons and Patrick J. Campbell of the Fraud Section are in charge of the prosecution.
The Fraud Section leads the Medicare Fraud Strike Force. Since its inception in March 2007, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, which maintains 15 strike forces operating in 24 districts, has charged more than 4,200 defendants who have collectively billed the Medicare program for nearly $19 billion. In addition, the HHS Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, working in conjunction with the HHS-OIG, are taking steps to increase accountability and decrease the presence of fraudulent providers.
The charges in the indictment are merely allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Roslyn, New York
E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 22-CR-180
Danielle Blustein Hass