Electric-powered Fraud

22477505 - medical and health insurance claim form with stethoscope on clipboard

Listen to this StoryThe Long Beach Post reports that a married couple was convicted of health care fraud because they paid kickbacks to receive and fill prescriptions for electric wheelchairs. The story states that a jury found the pair guilty on one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and five counts of health care fraud. (Despite this couple’s affinity for electricity, they evidently did not employ the services of a high-powered defense attorney; or if they did, he/she couldn’t help.)

According to the story, the fraudster husband and wife team ran a ”durable medical equipment supply company” in Long Beach. Between 2006 and 2013, the couple paid illegal kickbacks to patient recruiters, who sent patients to their company with prescriptions primarily for electric wheelchairs. Likewise, the couple illegally compensated doctors for fraudulent prescriptions for electric wheelchairs, which the supply company owners then used to illegally bill Medicare. (Apparently, this couple forgot that Medicare’s prescription benefit program was created so that parties involved would pay LESS.)

The story explains that between 2006 and 2013, the couple billed Medicare for $1,520,727 in fraudulent prescriptions. They were reimbursed $783,756 for those claims. (How much of that money they then proceeded to pay out to their network of co-conspiring patient recruiters and doctors was not included in the story.) These fraudsters had their scheme uncovered by a cooperative effort known as the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, which involved collaboration between the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – Office of the Inspector General’s Los Angeles Regional Office and the California Department of Justice. They will be sentenced on December 14 by the same judge who presided over their case.

This is another feather in the cap of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force. Kudos to them for their efforts in cutting the cord and shutting down these fraudsters. Hopefully, whatever sentence they receive empowers them to become more productive members of society in the future.


Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article titled, ”Long Beach Couple Convicted of Health Care Fraud in $1.5 Million Medicare Fraud Scheme,” written by Stephanie Rivera and published by The Long Beach Post on October 16, 2015.

A federal jury in Los Angeles convicted a Long Beach couple on Thursday of health care fraud charges in connection with a $1.5 million Medicare fraud scheme, according to the Department of Justice.

Amalya Cherniavsky, 41—the former owner of JC Medical Supply, a purported durable medical equipment supply company—and her husband Vladislav Tcherniavsky, 46—who co-operated the business—were both convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and five counts of health care fraud, the DOJ announced.

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Larry Benson
Larry Benson is currently the Director of Strategic Alliances for Revenue Discovery and Recovery at LexisNexis Risk Solutions. In this role, Benson is responsible for developing partnerships for the tax and revenue and child support enforcement verticals. He focuses on embedded companies that have a need for third-party analytics to enhance their current offerings.