The head of New York Medical Clinics was found guilty of nearly $100 million in a money laundering and healthcare kickback scheme, officials announced Friday.
Aleksandr Pikus, 44, of Brooklyn, was found guilty of one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, two counts of money laundering, one count of conspiracy to receive and pay healthcare kickbacks and one count of conspiracy to defraud the U.S. by obstructing the IRS.
“Pikus’s health care schemes were a toxic brew of kickbacks and money laundering that streamed millions of dollars into the pockets of the defendant and his co-conspirators at the expense of the Medicare and Medicaid programs,” said U.S. Attorney Richard Donoghue for the Eastern District of New York in a statement. “Today’s verdict demonstrates the resolve of this office and our law enforcement partners to protect taxpayer-funded health care programs upon which our citizens rely.”
According to evidence presented during a two-week trial, Pikus and his co-conspirators operated medical clinics in Brooklyn and Queens that submitted about $96 million in medical claims over the past 10 years. Those clinics employed doctors, physical and occupational therapists along with other medical professionals who were enrolled in the Medicare and Medicaid programs.
In return for kickbacks, Pikus was among those who submitted claims to the Medicare and Medicaid programs before laundering a substantial portion of those proceeds through companies he and his co-conspirators controlled, including by cashing checks at several New York City check-cashing businesses, Department of Justice officials said in a release.
They said Pikus failed to report that cash income to the IRS, but instead used it for himself and to pay kickbacks to patient recruiters. More than 25 other individuals have pleaded guilty to or been convicted of participating in the scheme.
This case was investigated by the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General and IRS Criminal Investigation and was brought as part of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force under the supervision of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York.