Patient Recruiter Pleads Guilty In Connection With $13 Million Health Care Fraud Scheme
BROOKLYN, NY - Pavel Zborovskiy, 57, of Brooklyn, NY, pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to pay and receive illegal health care kickbacks in connection with a $13 million health care fraud and money laundering scheme.
U.S. Attorney Loretta E. Lynch of the Eastern District of New York, Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Assistant Director in Charge George Venizelos of the FBI’s New York Field Office, and Special Agent in Charge Thomas O’Donnell of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG) made the announcement.
Zborovskiy pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Nina Gershon of the Eastern District of New York and is the sixth defendant to plead guilty in connection with the scheme. At sentencing on May 28, 2014, Zborovskiy faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a fine of more than $2.5 million.
“Pavel Zborovskiy and his criminal associates manipulated elderly Medicaid and Medicare patients, paying them kickbacks to induce them to receive medically unnecessary treatments and services in a scheme to defraud those programs out of millions of dollars,” stated United States Attorney Lynch. “Protecting taxpayer funded programs like Medicaid and Medicare is a priority of this Office and the Department of Justice. Today’s sentence represents a clear warning to those who seek to defraud Medicaid and Medicare that they will be held accountable for their crimes.”
According to court documents, from 2010 to 2012, Zborovskiy, working through an ambulette company, recruited patients to attend a Brooklyn clinic called Cropsey Medical Care PLLC. An ambulette is a vehicle that is licensed by New York State’s Medicaid program to transport beneficiaries to and from medical facilities when such transportation is medically necessary. Zborovskiy’s ambulette company transported the patients he had recruited to and from Cropsey Medical, and billed Medicaid for such transportation. Once Zborovskiy’s beneficiaries were transported to Cropsey Medical, Zborovskiy and others paid such beneficiaries cash kickbacks to induce them to continue to attend the clinic and to receive medically unnecessary physical therapy, diagnostic testing, and other services. Such purported medical services were then billed by Cropsey Medical to Medicare and Medicaid.
According to court documents, from approximately November 2009 to October 2012, Cropsey Medical submitted more than $13 million in claims to Medicare and Medicaid, seeking reimbursement for a wide variety of fraudulent medical services and procedures, including physician office visits, physical therapy, and diagnostic tests.
The case was investigated by the FBI and HHS-OIG and brought as part of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, under the supervision of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York. The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Sarah M. Hall and Assistant U.S. Attorney Shannon Jones of the Eastern District of New York.
Since its inception in March 2007, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, now operating in nine cities across the country, has charged more than 1,700 defendants who have collectively billed the Medicare program for more than $5.5 billion. In addition, HHS’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, working in conjunction with HHS-OIG, are taking steps to increase accountability and decrease the presence of fraudulent providers.
To learn more about the Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team (HEAT), go to: www.stopmedicarefraud.gov.