Friday, February 12, 2010

White Collar and Healthcare: Feds Indict Two Doctors for Medicare Fraud

The United States Attorney in Seattle has obtained grand jury indictments of two Seattle area physicians on charges of defrauding the Medicare program. While the indictments do not allege a relationship between the defendants, the two schemes were allegedly identical.

The grand jury charged Dr. Garnik Karapetyan with bilking Medicare of $1.9 million and attempting to receive as much as $3.2 million from the federal health insurance program. The indictment alleges that Karapetyan set up a dummy company called Federal Way Medical Equipments, Inc. Then, using the stolen identities of real Medicare patients, Karapetyan billed Medicare through his shell company for services never rendered.

In a separate indictment the grand jury charged Dr. Iacob Razumnii with stealing $753,000 from Medicare. The indictment alleges that Razumnii created a front company called American Standard Medical Supply. Additionally, he used stolen Medicare identification numbers to submit claims to Medicare for services never provided. The grand jury alleges that Razumnii attempted to defraud Medicare of $2 million.

While the grand jury alleged unrelated schemes against the two defendants, it is noteworthy that the alleged schemes were identical. Most interesting is that both defendants were allegedly able to make large numbers of Medicare claims using valid Medicare identification numbers. This modus operandi has become an indicator of organized crime involvement in Medicare fraud.

The defendants are each charged with six counts of wire fraud, three counts of health care fraud, and four counts of aggravated identity theft.

For more about the charges, please see the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, February 11, 2010,

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