Boston Woman Pleads Guilty to Role in Physical Therapy Clinic Fraud Scheme
BOSTON – A Boston woman pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court in Boston in connection with a scheme to defraud an insurance provider for physical therapy services that were not provided to patients.
Raya Bagardi, 38, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud. U.S. District Court Judge Richard G. Stearns scheduled sentencing for July 11, 2023. Bagardi was indicted in February 2021 along with co-defendants Gyulnara Bayryshova, Anna Barenboym and Slava Pride.
Bagardi was a licensed physical therapy assistant at Brighton Physical Therapy (BPT), a Brighton-based physical therapy clinic owned by Bayryshova. According to the charging documents, from October 2018 through June 2020, Bayryshova, Bagardi and their co-defendants conspired to cause an insurance company to reimburse them for physical therapy services that were not actually provided and/or were not medically necessary and, in some cases, were provided by individuals not licensed to provide the services. Specifically, Bayryshova, Bagardi and allegedly their co-defendants falsely billed for services purportedly rendered to patients injured in automobile accidents when the services were not actually provided. It is further alleged that BPT paid patients for referrals and referred patients to attorneys to assist with patients’ insurance settlements.
Bagardi was one of three defendants to plead guilty in the case. Barenboym and Pride previously pleaded guilty to their roles in the conspiracy and are scheduled to be sentenced on May 10, 2023 and May 24, 2023, respectively.
The charge of conspiracy to commit mail fraud provides a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and statutes which govern the determination of a sentence in a criminal case.
United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins; Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division; Anthony DiPaolo, Chief of Investigations of the Insurance Fraud Bureau of Massachusetts; Boston Police Commissioner Michael Cox; and Quincy Police Chief Paul Keenan made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura J. Kaplan of Rollins’ Criminal Division is prosecuting the case.
The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. The remaining defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.