[Hpn] Medical Fraud Ring Recruited Police Workers,Homeless, and Doctors
William Charles Tinker
Wed, 19 Oct 2005 19:07:19 -0400
Investigators say ring recruited doctors, homeless, police workers
By JIM FITZGERALD
Associated Press Writer
October 19, 2005
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- Investigators said Wednesday that they have taken down
a sophisticated medical fraud ring that used doctors, emergency room
workers, homeless people and New York Police Department employees to bilk
insurance companies out of $12 million.
Six corporations and 28 people, including four physicians and a dentist,
have been charged in the alleged three-year scam, said Westchester District
Attorney Jeanine Pirro.
"These were doctors, professional men who took oaths to help people and
instead they stole from people," said Charles Bardong, director of the state
Insurance Frauds Bureau.
The scheme took advantage of New York's "no-fault" auto insurance system and
recruited real and phony car-accident victims to submit bogus claims for
medical procedures that were never performed.
In some cases, an ambulance worker or an ER worker would get paid for the
names of real victims _ usually with just minor injuries _ who would then be
steered to the Elm Street Medical clinic in Elmsford for elaborate,
unnecessary procedures, Pirro said.
In other cases, a director at Westhab, the nonprofit agency that handles
homeless shelters in Westchester, allegedly used employees or shelter
residents to pose as accident victims. Agency vans would take them to the
clinic, Pirro said.
When such fake victims were used, fake accident reports were needed, and two
civilian employees of the NYPD allegedly forged such reports in the
department database for up to $300 per report.
Among the "sham" services provided at Elm Street Medical and fraudulently
billed to dozens of insurance companies were psychiatric evaluations and
treatment, chiropractic services, dental evaluations, excessive testing and
physical therapy, Pirro said.
She identified the founders of the clinic as Alexander Karshenboym and
Sergey Chizov. The physicians charged are Vlad Meisher, John Gelfand, Yefim
Sosonkin and Tobias Shklover. Ages and hometowns were not made available.
Pirro said she was "not ready to say" whether organized crime played a part
in the alleged fraud.
The scheme became known when insurance agents noticed a pattern of heavy
claims from the clinic arriving the day before a deadline. Pirro said nine
insurance companies, six hospitals, an ambulance service and the NYPD
assisted in the investigation.
If convicted of insurance fraud or enterprise corruption, the defendants
could be sentenced to prison for up to eight and one-third to 25 years.
William Charles Tinker
New Hampshire Homeless / Founded 11-28-99
25 Granite Street
Northfield,N.H. 03276-1640 USA
Advocates,activists for disabled,displaced human rights.