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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, December 18, 2017

Three Major New York Diagnostic Testing Facility Owners Charged for Their Roles in Alleged Multi-Million Dollar Health Care Fraud Scheme

A 14-count indictment was unsealed today in federal court in the Eastern District of New York charging three owners of independent diagnostic testing facilities in Brooklyn for their roles in an allegedly fraudulent scheme that involved submitting over $44 million in claims to Medicare and private insurers, which included government-sponsored managed care organizations. Defendant Iskanderova is expected to make an initial appearance this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Edwin G. Torres of the Southern District of Florida at the federal courthouse in Miami.  The case has been assigned to U.S. District Judge Margo K. Brodie.

 

Bridget M. Rohde, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, John P. Cronan, Acting Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, William F. Sweeney, Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI), James D. Robnett, Special Agent-in-Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), and Scott J. Lampert, Special Agent-in-Charge, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG), New York Region, announced the indictment.

 

Tea Kaganovich and Ramazi Mitaishvili were the co-owners of Sophisticated Imaging, East Coast Diagnostics, East Shore Diagnostics, East West Management and RM Global.  Syora Iskanderova, also known as “Samira Sanders,” was the owner of Global Testing, Liberty Mobile Imaging, Liberty Mobile Testing, Med Tech Services and Scanwell Diagnostics.  The three defendants were each charged with one count of health care fraud, two counts of making false claims to a federal agency, one count of conspiracy to pay health care kickbacks, two counts of paying health care kickbacks and four counts of money laundering.  Kaganovich and Mitaishvili were also charged with one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States by obstructing the lawful functions of the IRS.  Iskanderova was also charged with two counts of making false statements to federal agents. 

 

According to the indictment, beginning in approximately January 2014 and continuing through at least December 2016, Kaganovich, Mitaishvili and Iskanderova executed a scheme in which they submitted fraudulent claims to Medicare, Medicaid managed care plans and other health care benefit programs for diagnostic testing services.  As part of the scheme, the defendants allegedly paid kickbacks for the referral of beneficiaries who submitted themselves to diagnostic testing and other purported medical services.  The indictment also alleges that the beneficiaries themselves received kickbacks as part of the scheme.  The defendants allegedly submitted and caused to be submitted claims to Medicare, Medicaid managed care plans and other health care benefit programs for services that misrepresented which diagnostic testing company purportedly performed the services.  The indictment further alleges that the defendants disguised their illicit payments by moving the proceeds of this illegal activity through shell companies and engaged in financial transactions greater than $10,000 involving the proceeds of unlawful activity.  Kaganovich and Mitaishvili are alleged to have falsely reported to the IRS that the illegal payments made to co-conspirators were legitimate business expenses, which caused relevant tax forms to falsely under-report business income and claim deductions.  In addition, the indictment alleges that Iskanderova, on two separate occasions, lied to federal agents about her role in the alleged fraud scheme.   

 

As alleged in the indictment, the defendants submitted and caused to be submitted at least $44 million in claims to Medicare, Medicaid managed care plans and other health care benefit programs for diagnostic testing services and were paid at least $19 million on those claims.

 

The charges in the indictment are merely allegations, and all defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

 

The FBI, IRS-CI and HHS-OIG investigated the case, which was brought as part of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, under the supervision by the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York.  Trial Attorneys Debra Jaroslawicz and Richard Powers of the Fraud Section are prosecuting the case. 

 

The Fraud Section leads the Medicare Fraud Strike Force.  Since its inception in March 2007, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, now operating in nine cities across the country, has charged nearly 3,500 defendants who have collectively billed the Medicare program for more than $12.5 billion.  In addition, the HHS Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, working in conjunction with HHS-OIG, are taking steps to increase accountability and decrease the presence of fraudulent providers.

 

The Defendants:

 

TEA KAGANOVICH

Age: 45

Residence: Brooklyn, New York

 

RAMAZI MITAISHVILI

Age: 57

Residence: Brooklyn, New York

 

SYORA ISKANDEROVA (also known as “Samira Sanders”)

Age: 42

Residence: Brooklyn, New York

 

E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 17-CR-649 (MKB)

Topic(s): 
Health Care Fraud
StopFraud
Contact: 
John Marzulli Tyler Daniels United States Attorney’s Office (718) 254-6323
Updated December 18, 2017