Manager of medical clinics gets 13 years for money laundering and kickback schemes
A 45-year-old manager of medical clinics in both Brooklyn and Queens was sentenced to 13 years in prison and ordered to pay nearly $40 million after he was sentenced in federal court in Brooklyn on Monday.
Aleksandr Pikus, from Brooklyn, was previously convicted on November 2019 by a jury in front of U.S. District Court Judge Ann Donnelly of the Eastern District of New York of conspiracy to commit money laundering, conspiracy to receive and pay health care kickbacks and conspiracy to defraud the U.S. by obstructing the IRS. He faced up to 70 years.
“For nearly a decade, Aleksandr Pikus stole millions of dollars from the federal Medicare and Medicaid programs in a major healthcare kickback, money laundering and tax fraud scheme,” said acting Assistant Attorney General Brian Rabbitt. “This significant sentence holds Pikus accountable for his leadership role in this scheme and reflects the department’s commitment to protecting our valuable federal healthcare programs and their beneficiaries from this kind of fraud.”
In addition to spending 13 years in prison, Pikus was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $23 million to Medicare, $16 million to Medicaid and $433,297 to the IRS, and he has to forfeit more than $2.6 million.
“The defendant’s key role in an elaborate scheme to steal and conceal tens of millions of dollars from the Medicare and Medicaid programs was staggering in scope and deserving of the significant punishment he received today,” acting U.S. Attorney Seth DuCharme said.
Prosecutors were able to prove to a jury that Pikus and his co-conspirators perpetrated a scheme through a series of medical clinics in Brooklyn and Queens that employed doctors and other medical personnel who were enrolled in Medicare and Medicaid programs.
In return for illegal kickbacks from these doctors, Pikus and his cronies referred beneficiaries to these health care providers, who then submitted the insurance claims. Pikus then laundered a substantial amount of that money through companies he controlled and did not report that income to the IRS.
Pikus used that money to enrich himself and to pay kickbacks to patient recruiters who used shell companies and fake invoices to hide their ill-gotten gains.
Pikus was also known to use threats of violent force to get his way and once threatened a co-conspirator by telling him, “the only way out is feet first through the door … like in a body bag.”
At least 25 other people have pleaded guilty or been convicted in connection to Pikus’ schemes, including physicians, occupational therapists, ambulette drivers and others.
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