Los Angeles pharmacy owners found guilty in $35M fraud scheme

fraud
Two Los Angeles men were convicted in a $35 million Medicare fraud scheme. (studiocasper/iStock)

Two Los Angeles-area pharmacy owners have been found guilty for their role in a $35 million scheme to defraud Medicare. 

Aleksander Suris, 51, and Maxim Sverdlov, 44, both of Sherman Oaks, California, were each convicted by a jury this week on one count of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, the Department of Justice announced

Suris was also found guilty of one additional count of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud and six counts of healthcare fraud, according to DOJ. In addition, both were found not guilty on three more fraud charges. 

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RELATED: Patients treated by fraudulent providers often most vulnerable, study finds 

From 2012 to 2015, the two men conspired to bill Medicare and Cigna for prescriptions that were not actually dispensed to patients visit their pharmacy, Royal Care Pharmacy, according to evidence president at trial. 

The two then collected false invoices for the prescriptions from a co-conspirator to make it look like the prescriptions were purchased and billed properly. The invoices also indicated that Suris and Sverdlov laundered the proceeds from the fraud through the co-conspirator, DOJ said. 

The case was brought under the Medicare Strike Force, a fraud enforcement agency formed in 2007. Since its inception, the strike force has charged close to 4,000 defendants in Medicare fraud cases totaling nearly $14 billion.

Under President Donald Trump, health officials have made fraud enforcement a focus and increased enforcement of fraud cases. 

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