Attorney General Cuomo Announces Arrests In Multi-million Dollar Medicaid Fraud Scheme Run Out Of Three New York City Dental Clinics
NEW YORK, N.Y. (June 2, 2010) - Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the arrest and indictment of four individuals and three corporations for stealing over $5.7 million through a Medicaid fraud scheme run out of dental clinics in Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx.
The indictment and civil complaint allege that from January 1, 2006, to April 7, 2010, David Ibragimov, 49, his son Arthur Ibragimov, 26, of Kew Gardens, and his son-in-law Mikhail Isakov, 27, of Forest Hills, owned and operated three dental clinics in Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx and required the dentists they employed to pay two-thirds of their Medicaid billings to various corporations they owned, including the three indicted corporations, AN International LLC, MA Concord LLC and MB Globus LLC.
The Ibragimovs and Isakov paid recruiters, known as “flyer boys”, to bring Medicaid recipients to the clinics, and paid the recipients to get treatment, whether medically necessary or not. The Medicaid recipients were sometimes brought to the clinics from homeless shelters, and were paid cash as well as gifts such as CD players and McDonald’s gift certificates. In terms of the “flyer boys,” the more Medicaid recipients they brought in, the higher the pay.
The operation employed dozens of dentists who were often required to pay two thirds of their Medicaid billings to the defendants. It is alleged that Bruce Speiser, 49 of Ronkonkoma, a high-billing dentist in the clinics, actively exhorted the flyer-boys “to go out and get more patients.” David Ibragimov, Arthur Ibragimov, Mikhail Isakov are not dentists, and, therefore, are not registered Medicaid providers and are prohibited from engaging in the practice of dentistry or owning a dental practice.
“These individuals and the companies they control are accused of masterminding a multi-million dollar theft from the taxpayer funded Medicaid program,” said Attorney General Cuomo. “My office has been a national leader in prosecuting Medicaid fraud, successfully recovering nearly $700 million. This case is another example of our commitment to protecting taxpayers and working to ensure that a vital healthcare program can provide important pubic services with efficiency and integrity.”
As a result of this scheme, Medicaid paid the dentists working for the Ibragimovs and Isakov over $5.7 million, of which Medicaid paid $1.9 million to Bruce Speiser, DDS. The Ibragimovs and Isakov routinely pressured their dentists to push and bill “high-value” and “quick turnaround” services, including forcing Medicaid recipients to agree to being fitted for dentures the same day their teeth were extracted and before their gums could heal.
The Attorney General’s investigation into the numerous dentists employed by the Ibragimovs and Isakov is still ongoing. Additional charges are anticipated. On April 7th, 2010, as part of the ongoing investigation, Cuomo’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) executed search warrants at three dental clinics, located at 575-9 Fulton Street, Brooklyn; 165-10 Jamaica Ave, Jamaica; and 2471 Morris Ave, Bronx. On April 9th MFCU filed a civil complaint in State Supreme Court in Kings County which alleged fraud against the Medicaid program and also sought and secured temporary restraining orders freezing the assets of the defendants.
David Ibragimov, AN International LLC, MA Concord LLC, MB Globus LLC and Bruce Speiser are charged with one count of Grand Larceny in the First Degree (a class “B” felony), and one count of Insurance Fraud in the First Degree (a class “B” felony), both of which carry a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison. Arthur Ibragimov and Mikhail Isakov are charged with one count of Grand Larceny in the Third Degree (a class “D” felony) and one count of Insurance Fraud in the Third Degree(a class “D” felony), both of which carry a maximum sentence of 7 years in prison. Bruce Speiser, David Ibragimov, Arthur Ibragimov, Mikhail Isakov, MB Globus LLC and MA Concord LLC are also charged with one count of Medical Assistance Provider Prohibited Practice (Kickbacks) under the Social Services Law (class “E” felony), which carries a maximum penalty of 4 years in prison.
The criminal case is being handled by Medicaid Fraud Control Unit Special Assistants Attorney General Larissa Payne and Jeffrey Kwastel under the supervision of New York Deputy Regional Director Christopher M. Shaw. The civil case is being handled Special Assistant Attorney Gerri Gold under the supervision of Director of Civil Enforcement Paul Mahoney. The investigation was conducted by Senior Special Investigators Robert Flynn and James Serra.
The charges against the defendants are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.