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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Massachusetts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, November 17, 2022

West Roxbury Man Pleads Guilty to Role in Physical Therapy Clinic Fraud Scheme

BOSTON – A West Roxbury man pleaded guilty today 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. 

Slava Pride, 42, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud. U.S. District Court Judge Richard G. Stearns scheduled sentencing for March 23, 2023. Pride was indicted in February 2021 along with co-defendants Anna Barenboym, Gyulnara Bayryshova and Raya Bagardi.

Pride was a physical therapy assistant at Brighton Physical Therapy (BPT), a Brighton-based physical therapy clinic owned by Bayryshova. Barenboym and Bagardi were also employed at BPT as a licensed physical therapist and a licensed physical therapist assistant, respectively. According to the charging documents, from October 2018 through June 2020, Pride and his 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, Pride and, allegedly, his 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, referred patients to attorneys to assist with patients’ insurance settlements and accepted kickbacks from those attorneys in return.

Pride is the second defendant to plead guilty in the case. On March 17, 2022, Barenboym pleaded guilty to her role in the conspiracy and is scheduled to be sentenced on April 4, 2023.

The charge of conspiracy to commit mail fraud provides for 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’ Organized Crime & Gang Unit 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.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Component(s): 
Updated November 18, 2022