Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Former Owner and Operator of California Durbable Medical Equipment Supply Company Sentenced in Medicare Fraud Case

The power wheelchair Medicare fraud cases have still not run their course. The latest one involves the former owner and operator (husband and wife) of a durable medical equipment (DME) supply company based in Long Beach, California. 

On January 30, 2016 they were sentenced for their roles in a $1.5 million Medicare fraud case following their conviction at trial. At trial, on October 15, 2015, a federal jury convicted both of one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and five counts of health care fraud after trial. 

Amalya Cherniavsky and her husband, Vladislav Tcherniavsky, both of Long Beach were ordered to pay $614,418 in restitution.  U.S. District Judge Terry J. Hatter Jr. of the Central District of California ordered Mr. Tcherniavsky to serve 51 months in prison. His wife Mrs. Cheriavsky received a probation sentence.   

The evidence at trial demonstrated that Mrs. Cherniavsky owned JC Medical Supply, a purported durable medical equipment supply company that she co-operated with her husband Mr. Tcherniavsky.  Evidence further showed that the defendants paid illegal kickbacks to patient recruiters in exchange for patient referrals and paid kickbacks to physicians for medically unnecessary prescriptions—primarily for expensive, power wheelchairs—which the defendants then used to support bills to Medicare. 

With the referral fees to patient recruiters and lack of medical necessity, the government used that to argue that the claims were false and fraudulent. Between 2006 and 2013, the government presented evidence that the DME submitted $1,520,727 in claims to Medicare and received $783,756 in reimbursement for those claims.

Posted by Tracy Green, Esq.


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