Two gangs that enlisted trusted professionals to steal $100 million dollars from insurance companies were taken down Wednesday in what the feds are calling one of the biggest fraud busts in history.
More than a dozen suspects, including a New York City cop, were arrested following an investigation by the Justice Department, the NYPD and Westchester County District Attorney’s office, officials said.
Both criminal enterprises would bribe police dispatchers and health care workers for information about car accident victims, who they connected with crooked doctors that performed unneeded medical procedures, officials said in a news release. The gangs would then overbill insurance companies to exploit automobile insurance laws in New York and New Jersey that require them to pay for victim’s medical bills in certain situations.
The first criminal enterprise, led by Alexander “Little Alex” Gulkarov, stole more than $30 million since 2014 by paying more than a dozen medical organizations to use their legitimate licenses, the feds said.
NYPD Officer Albert Aronov allegedly scoured department computers for information about accident victims as a group of “runners” bribed public servants for confidential information that was used to steer patients to the gang’s doctors.
Doctors Rolando “Chuma” Chumaceiro and Marcelo Quiroga then “incorporated medical practices as part of the scheme, prescribed unnecessary and excessive medical treatments and overbilled insurance companies under the No-Fault Laws,” investigators said.
New York lawyer Robert Wisnicki was enlisted to launder money and misdirect law enforcement, according to the feds.
Gulkarov and co-conspirators Roman Israilov, Peter Khaimov, and Anthony DiPietro all face more than three decades behind bars if convicted. Wisnicki faces 25 years in prison while the doctors face 10 years and Aronov five, in connection with the conspiracy.
A second crew, led by Bradley Pierre, ran a similar but more lucrative racket, fraudulently owning and operating five health care companies through bribes and kickbacks to the tune of $70 million in profits over 13 years, according to prosecutors.
Allegedly in cahoots with Pierre were Dr. Marvin Moy, who conducted “unnecessary and painful electrodiagnostic testing on patients,” and Dr. William Weiner, who falsified “findings of clinical injuries in MRIs in order to boost patient referrals,” authorities said.
Arthur Borgoraz, a paralegal and manager at a personal injury law firm, and runner Andrew Prime were tasked with paying off officials to collect information that perpetuated the scheme, according to the release.
Pierre was facing 37 years behind bars if convicted of fraud and conspiracy, while the doctors were looking at a 30-year sentence, prosecutors said. Borgoraz and Prime each faced a 5-year sentence.
“No-fault accident schemes, like the one alleged today, can cost insurance companies millions of dollars in payouts to doctors and clinics who provide phony or unnecessary services to unwitting accident victims,” FBI Assistant Director Michael Driscoll said.
“This cost is almost always passed to consumers of private insurance or subsidized programs established to help those in need.”