Brooklyn Boro

Medical clinic manager convicted of money laundering and kickback schemes

November 18, 2019 Rob Abruzzese
Brooklyn federal court. Eagle file photo by Rob Abruzzese
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A Brooklyn man was convicted on Friday by a federal jury in the Eastern District of New York on charges of money laundering and running kickback schemes out of medical clinics in Brooklyn and Queens. He faces up to 70 years in prison at sentencing.

Aleksandr Pikus, 44, was found guilty of conspiracy to commit money laundering, money laundering, conspiracy to receive and pay health care kickbacks and conspiracy to defraud the U.S. by obstructing the IRS following a two-week trial in front of U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly.

Prosecutors were able to prove during the trial that, for nearly a decade, Pikus and co-conspirators operated medical clinics where they referred patients to various health care providers, resulting in nearly $100 million in claims to Medicare and Medicaid. In return for these referrals, Pikus received kickbacks in the form of checks payable to shell companies that he controlled.

Pikus then laundered the ill-gotten money through check-cashing businesses and failed to report that cash income to the IRS. He used that cash on himself and to pay patient recruiters, which included ambulette drivers who then paid beneficiaries to receive treatment at Pikus’ medical clinics.

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“Pikus’ 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 Richard Donoghue, U.S. attorney for the EDNY.

Pikus is the fifth person convicted in the schemes. Malvina Yablonskaya pleaded guilty to similar charges in December 2016, Maksim Vernik pleaded guilty in November 2017, Denis Satyr pleaded guilty in December 2017, and Mark Tsyvin pleaded guilty to conspiracy to receive and pay health care kickbacks and to defraud the IRS in September 2019. All of the defendants are still awaiting sentencing.

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