A Brooklyn, N.Y., board-certified colorectal surgeon, who owned and operated a New York medical clinic, was convicted for his role in a fraud scheme that billed Medicare and numerous private insurance companies for surgeries and other complex medical procedures that were never performed, the Department of Justice, FBI and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced.
On Wednesday, June 13, 2012, after a two-week trial in federal court in Brooklyn, a jury found Boris Sachakov, M.D., 43, guilty of one count of health care fraud and five counts of health care false statements.
The trial evidence showed that from January 2008 to January 2010, Sachakov, who owned and operated a clinic called Colon and Rectal Care of New York P.C., defrauded Medicare and private insurance companies by billing for surgeries and medical services that he never provided. According to trial testimony, several private insurance companies began investigating Sachakov after receiving complaints from patients that Sachakov had submitted claims for surgeries, including hemorrhoidectomies, that he never performed.
At trial, 11 of Dr. Sachakov’s patients testified they had not received the surgeries and other medical services that was billed to their insurance companies. The evidence presented at trial showed that the medical records Dr. Sachakov created and maintained on these patients, including letters to the patient’s referring doctors, did not support the extensive billings he submitted. After Dr. Sachakov was confronted by two insurance companies about complaints of billings for surgeries that did not happen, the evidence at trial showed that Dr. Sachakov sent letters to his patients, asking them to falsely certify in writing that they had received the phony surgeries.
The indictment alleged that Sachakov submitted and caused the submission of over $22.6 million in false and fraudulent claims to Medicare and private insurance companies, and received more than $9 million on those claims.
At sentencing, scheduled for Sept. 24, 2012, Sachakov faces a maximum penalty of 35 years in prison and an $18 million fine.
The case was brought as part of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, supervised by the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section. The Medicare Fraud Strike Force operations are part of the Health Care Fraud Prevention & Enforcement Action Team (HEAT), a joint initiative announced in May 2009 between the Department of Justice and HHS to focus their efforts to prevent and deter fraud and enforce current anti-fraud laws around the country.
Since their inception in March 2007, strike force operations in nine districts have charged 1,330 defendants who collectively have falsely billed the Medicare program for more than $4 billion. In addition, the HHS Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, working in conjunction with the HHS-OIG, are taking steps to increase accountability and decrease the presence of fraudulent providers.
Source: United States Department of Justice
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