Six Individuals Charged in Multi-Million Dollar Insurance Fraud
Six Florida residents have been charged in a multi-million dollar insurance fraud scheme.
Benjamin G. Greenberg, Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, announced today the unsealing of an Indictment and the filing of two Informations charging a total of six individuals.
The seven-count Indictment charges Felix Filenger, 41, of Sunny Isles, Andrew Rubinstein, 48, of Miami, and Olga Spivak, 59, of Hollywood, with RICO conspiracy, conspiracy to commit mail fraud, wire fraud, and health care fraud, and false statements relating to health care matters. The one-count Informations charge Richard Yonover, 54, of Boca Raton, Jason Dalley, 66, of Lake Worth, and Linda Varisco, 55, of Coral Springs, with conspiracy to commit mail fraud, wire fraud, and health care fraud.
Filenger, Rubinstein and Spivak appeared for their initial appearance today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Alicia O. Valle. The defendants were all detained pending a pre-trial detention hearing set for October 10, 2017 at 1:00 p.m. for defendant Spivak and October 11, 2017 at 1:00 p.m. for defendants Filenger and Rubinstein. All three hearings will be before U.S. Magistrate Judge Lurana S. Snow.
According to the Indictment unsealed today, from 2010 to the present, Filenger and Rubinstein ran a criminal enterprise which was engaged in a pattern of racketeering activity that included conspiracy to commit mail, wire, and healthcare fraud and conspiring to commit money laundering. The criminal enterprise owned a dozen chiropractic clinics which were used to facilitate criminal activities involving automobile insurance fraud. Filenger and Rubinstein fraudulently utilized licensed chiropractors as nominee owners in order to obtain licensing for their clinics, including defendant Spivak. Filenger and Rubinstein paid illegal kickbacks ranging from $500-$2,100 to persons associated with tow truck companies and other persons who illegally solicited automobile accident victims in order to induce referrals of accident victims to their chiropractic clinics. Filenger and Rubinstein fraudulently obtained tens of millions of dollars of insurance reimbursement from the Personal Injury Protection (PIP) policies of these accident victims. Filenger and Rubinstein and their employees conspired to bill the insurance companies for clinic visits and treatment modalities, designed to bill the entire $10,000 PIP coverage and not based on medical necessity. Filenger and Rubinstein directed their employees to falsify the initial pain levels of the accident victims in order to fraudulently ensure payment from the insurance companies. Based upon instructions from Filenger and Rubinstein, the co-conspirator chiropractic clinics would treat the patients based solely on a profit motive and without regard for patient health. This treatment would include costly and invasive nerve conduction velocity tests performed not based upon medical necessity but upon the amount of insurance compensation received.
The scheme involved convincing the accident victims to visit the co-conspirator chiropractic clinics at least thirty times, in order to bill the largest amount of PIP reimbursement. Filenger and Rubinstein would work with corrupt lawyers and would pay illegal kickbacks for patients. If the accident victims failed to treat for at least thirty visits at their chiropractic clinics, Filenger and Rubinstein would refer them back to the corrupt lawyers so that the victims could be instructed to return to the clinics.
Linda Varisco was a chiropractor who was the nominee owner of two chiropractic clinics for Filenger and Rubinstein, Advance Medical Associates and Forme Rehab, Inc., and Hollywood Wellness and Rehabilitation, Inc. Varisco and Olga Spivak filed false affidavits with insurance companies claiming that they were 100% owners of clinics that were, in fact, owned by Filenger and Rubinstein. Richard Yonover was the undisclosed owner of two clinics in Broward County and unlawfully utilized a nominee to obtain licensing for the clinics and to conceal his true ownership interests. Dalley was an attorney who, along with Richard Yonover, paid illegal kickback payments to obtain clients for personal injury lawsuits. Dalley, who paid in excess of one million dollars in illegal solicitation fees, would send the auto accident clients to co-conspirator chiropractic clinics owned by Filenger, Rubinstein, and Yonover.
If convicted, defendants Filenger and Rubinstein face a statutory maximum term of imprisonment of 80 years and a fine of up to the greater of $1,750,000 or twice the amount of the criminally derived property. If convicted, defendant Spivak faces a statutory maximum term of imprisonment of 70 years and a fine of up to the greater of $1,250,000 or twice the amount of the criminally derived property. If convicted, defendants Yonover, Dalley, and Varisco face a statutory maximum term of imprisonment of five years and a fine of up to $250,000.
Mr. Greenberg commended the investigative efforts of the FBI, the Internal Revenue Service, the Sunny Isles Police Department, the Florida Statewide Prosecutor’s Office, the Broward Sheriff’s Office, the State of Florida Department of Insurance Fraud, and the Department of Homeland Security in connection with the investigation of this matter. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jeffrey N. Kaplan and Paul F. Schwartz.
An indictment and information are merely an allegation and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.