Brooklyn doctor and office manager charged with selling prescriptions for cash
BRIGHTON BEACH — A doctor and office manager at a Brighton Beach medical clinic were arraigned on Friday on an indictment for grand larceny and healthcare fraud, according to Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez and New York City Department of Social Services Acting Commissioner Molly Wasow Park.
The defendants are accused of stealing more than $700,000 over a four-year period by fraudulently billing Medicaid for non-existent services and selling prescriptions for narcotics, opioids, and other controlled substances to patients they were not treating.
“As the opioid epidemic continues to claim the lives of thousands of New Yorkers each year, it is unconscionable that these medical professionals allegedly endangered their patients’ health, trafficked in controlled substances, and stole hundreds of thousands from Medicaid,” said District Attorney Eric Gonzalez. “Anyone who contributes to the growth of prescription drug abuse, imperils the health and safety of Brooklyn residents, or rips off the taxpayers will be held accountable.”
Dr. Alexander Ivanov, 66, of Perth Amboy, New Jersey, and Svetlana Kozlovskaya, 64, of Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, ran a psychiatry practice and pain management clinic in Brighton Beach where they allegedly billed Medicaid and other healthcare administrators for more than $200,000 worth of psychotherapy sessions that were never administered.
In addition, Dr. Ivanov is accused of writing over $500,000 worth of prescriptions for controlled substances to patients in exchange for cash. The controlled substances included suboxone, alprazolam, amphetamine, clonazepam, diazepam, methadone, morphine, oxycodone, and tramadol.
The investigation found that many of the doctor’s patients were substance abusers who were not receiving any kind of treatment or examination at the clinic. There was allegedly no bloodwork or urinalysis performed to monitor the patients’ drug intake levels. The prescriptions were subsequently filled and paid for by Medicaid and other healthcare administrators.
“The alleged conduct of these individuals is absolutely unacceptable and a clear violation of their duties as trusted medical professionals,” said Department of Social Services Acting Commissioner Park. “We thank the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office and our own DSS Investigators for thoroughly investigating this case and demonstrating that those who exploit our vulnerable neighbors and endanger our communities will face repercussions.”
The case was investigated by Detective Investigators from the District Attorney’s office, the New York City Department of Social Services, and the United States Department of Health and Human Services. The case is being prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Pamela J. Murray of the District Attorney’s Frauds Bureau.
Opioids are the leading cause of preventable deaths in America, according to the National Institute of Health (NIH). The NIH estimates that despite only making up 5 percent of the world’s population, the United States represents 75 percent of the world’s opioid prescriptions, and that 50 percent of its opioid overdoses resulting in death were caused by prescriptions from physicians.
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