Boston Man Convicted in Physical Therapy False Billing Scheme

By Andrew G. Simpson | December 1, 2022

A Boston man pleaded guilty in federal court in connection with a scheme to defraud an insurance company for physical therapy services that were not provided to patients, according to prosecutors.

Officials said Slava Pride pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud. Other charges were dropped

Pride was indicted in February 2021 along with co-defendants Anna Barenboym, Gyulnara Bayryshova and Raya Bagardi. Pride was a physical therapy assistant at Brighton Physical Therapy (BPT), a clinic owned by Bayryshova. Both Barenboym and Bagardi were also employed at BPT.

According to the court documents, from October 2018 through June 2020, Pride and his co-defendants at BPT conspired to gain insurance company reimbursements for physical therapy services that were not actually provided and/or were not medically necessary. Also, in some cases, they were allegedly provided by individuals not licensed to provide the services.

Specifically, Pride and, allegedly, his co-defendants falsely billed for services purportedly rendered to patients injured in automobile accidents when the services were not actually provided. Prosecutors further allege that BPT paid patients for referrals, referred patients to attorneys to assist with patients’ insurance settlements, and accepted kickbacks from those attorneys in return.

The government has claimed insurers paid more than $750,000 in false claims to BPT. Pride has reserved the right to dispute that amount as overstated at his sentencing hearing.

Pride is the second defendant to plead guilty in the case. On March 17, 2022, according to the office of U.S. Attorney Rachael Rollins. Barenboym pleaded guilty to her role in the conspiracy and is scheduled to be sentenced on April 4, 2023.

The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. Defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

U.S. District Court Judge Richard G. Stearns scheduled sentencing for March 23, 2023 for Pride.

The charge of conspiracy to commit mail fraud provides for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, Insurance Fraud Bureau of Massachusetts, Boston Police and Quincy Police made the announcement. Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura J. Kaplan of Rollins’ organized crime unit is prosecuting the case.

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