Brooklyn doctors accused of massive health care fraud denied bail before New Year’s
A Brooklyn federal judge temporarily denied bail on Wednesday for two Brooklyn doctors accused in a $44 million health care fraud scam that left them behind bars for Christmas.
At their Dec. 18 arraignment, Magistrate Judge Steven Gold ordered Tea Kaganovich, 45, and Ramazi Mitaishvili, 57, held without bail until they fully disclose all their multimillion-dollar assets.
Judge LaShann DeArcy Hall upheld that order, denying defense arguments for $1 million bail. Considering the large amounts of assets already disclosed and the breath of the scheme that stole at least $19 million from taxpayers, DeArcy Hall called the defense proposal “absurd.”
“That is not in the realm of reason,” the judge said. “It seems to me that there is a risk of flight here.”
Prosecutors estimated the pair owned nine properties, eight of them in Brooklyn, worth more than $8 million.
The feds also seized nearly $700,000 in jewelry and found $120,000 cash rubber banded in a backpack at one of the properties.
The defense is worried that prosecutors would raise their $5 million proposed bail after the assets were disclosed, but the judge said she needs the full property values and bank accounts before making a decision.
Kaganovich, Mitaishvili and Sayora Iskanderova, 42, were indicted for health care fraud, conspiracy to pay health care kickbacks, making false claims to a federal agency and money laundering.
Prosecutors alleged that between January 2014 and December 2016, the three paid kickbacks for patient referrals to 10 Brooklyn diagnostic testing facilities they owned. They then allegedly got insurance claims from the testing that misrepresented which company actually performed the services.
They’re accused of disguising their illegal funds using shell companies.
Court documents show the three were paid at least $19 million on $44 million in claims.
Kaganovich and Mitaishvili co-owned Sophisticated Imaging, East Coast Diagnostics, East Shore Diagnostics, East West Management and RM Global. Iskanderova owned Global Testing, Liberty Mobile Imagine, Liberty Mobile Testing, Med Tech Services and Scanwell Diagnostics.
They face up to 20 years in prison on the money laundering charge.
In an effort for their clients to spend the rest of the holidays at home with family, the defense team hoped to file the total assets list by 4 p.m. on Wednesday.
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