August 20, 2013 — Medicare and Medicaid fraud cost our nation massive amounts of money every year. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) relies on health care insiders to uncover the evidence needed to stop health care fraud. The False Claims Act’s qui tam provisions enable health care workers who discover misreporting, overbilling and/or other fraudulent conduct to bring a lawsuit for the benefit of the government. Whistleblowers may be eligible to share in the government’s recovery to reward them for their courage in collaborating with the government.
Pennsylvania Man Pleads Guilty to Role in New York Medicare Fraud Operation
Leonid Zalkind of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania has entered a guilty plea to charges by the DOJ in a case of Medicare fraud and money laundering operations involving Cropsey Medical Care, PLLC (Cropsey Medical), a health care clinic in Brooklyn, New York.
Cropsey Medical provides physical therapy, diagnostic testing, nerve conduction tests, podiatry services, urology services and other related services for Medicare and Medicaid patients. Between November 2009 and October 2012, Cropsey Medical filed over $13 million in false claims to Medicare and Medicaid, seeking reimbursement for fraudulent diagnostic tests, physician office visits, and physical therapy.
According to the DOJ, Zalkind operated shell companies and bank accounts for laundering Cropsey Medical’s illegally obtained funds from Medicare and Medicaid. Between 2010 and 2012, Cropsey Medical made check payments to various shell companies operated by Zalkind, who admitted that he deposited the Cropsey Medical checks knowing that the funds had been generated illegally. Zalkind then returned part of the funds to the owners and managers of Cropsey Medical. From there, the money was used in part to pay illegal kickbacks to the ostensible patients who were also part of the fraudulent Medicare scheme.
In July, Zalkind pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering and admitted his role in the scheme. At sentencing, the conspiracy charge could bring as much as twenty years in prison and a fine of $500,000.
False Claims Act a Powerful Tool for Fighting Medicare Care Fraud
Whistleblowers are important allies in the Justice Department’s battle against Medicare and Medicaid fraud. Tipsters should know that they are granted significant rights under the False Claims Act. The experienced qui tam lawyers at Waters & Kraus provide skilled representation and counsel to conscientious informants. Contact us by email or phone our whistleblower attorneys at 855.784.0268 to discuss how we can advance and safeguard your interests.