NextHealth, Forest Park Executive Sentenced to 6+ Years
A healthcare executive at the center of two massive healthcare fraud scams has been sentenced to more than six years in federal prison, announced U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Erin Nealy Cox.
55-year-old Semyon Narasov, a former NextHealth and Forest Park Medical Center executive, was sentenced Friday by U.S. District Judge Jack Zouhary to 76 months in federal prison.
He pleaded guilty in 2018 to conspiracy to commit money laundering in the NextHealth case and to conspiracy to pay and receive healthcare bribes and kickbacks in the Forest Park case.
“This defendant was a central figure in not one, but two significant healthcare fraud schemes,” said U.S. Attorney Nealy Cox. “We cannot and will not allow health professionals to pervert an industry that should be solely focused on helping patients.”
According to court documents, Mr. Narasov admitted that Forest Park paid him and his business partner, Andrew Hillman, $190,000 to refer patients to the facility or to surgeons with privileges there.
He and Mr. Hillman submitted phony invoices to conceal the bribes, which were funneled through Adelaide Business Solutions, a shell entity, he said.
Mr. Narasov also admitted that while at NextHealth, he and Mr. Hillman submitted fraudulent claims to private and government health insurance providers – seeking reimbursement for prescriptions that were medically unnecessary, prescriptions for misbranded, non-FDA-approved drugs, and prescriptions prescribed by physicians who were receiving kickbacks, all while falsely claiming they had charged patients co-pays.
(Mr. Hillman also pleaded guilty to his role in both schemes, and was sentenced in December 2019 to 66 months in federal prison.)
The cases were investigated by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management Office of Inspector General, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Inspector General, the U.S. Department of Defense - Defense Criminal Investigative Service, and the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General, with assistance from the Food and Drug Administration Office of Criminal Investigations. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Andrew Wirmani, Marcus Busch, and Chad Meacham prosecuted.