[Hpn] Medical Fraud Ring Recruited Police Workers,Homeless, and Doctors

William Charles Tinker wtinker@metrocast.net
Wed, 19 Oct 2005 19:07:19 -0400


http://www.newsday.com/news/local/wire/newyork/ny-bc-ny--insurancefraud1019oct19,0,1901905.story?coll=ny-region-apnewyork

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
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