A Long Beach couple that once managed a durable medical equipment supply company was sentenced on Friday for their roles in a $1.5 million Medicare fraud scheme, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Amalya Cherniavsky, 41—the former owner of JC Medical Supply, a purported durable medical equipment supply company in Long Beach—and her husband Vladislav Tcherniavsky, 46—who co-operated the business—were ordered by U.S. District Judge Terry J. Hatter, Jr. to pay $614,418 in restitution during an afternoon hearing.
Tcherniavsky was ordered to serve 51 months in prison and Cherniavsky was placed on probation, officials stated.
Both defendants were previously convicted by a federal jury in October 2015 of one count of conspiracy to commit health fraud and five counts of health care fraud.
The Cherniavskys paid illegal kickbacks to patient recruiters in exchange for patient referrals, according to evidence at the trial. The defendants also paid kickbacks to doctors for fraudulent prescriptions, which the defendants then used to support fraudulent bills to Medicare.
The prescriptions were primarily for expensive, medically unnecessary power wheelchairs, officials said.
Between 2006 and 2013, the Cherniavskys submitted $1,520,727 in fraudulent claims to Medicare and were reimbursed $783,756 for those claims.
“The sole purpose of JC Medical Supply was to obtain fraudulent prescriptions and submit bills to Medicare for unneeded but expensive durable medical equipment,” said U.S. Attorney Eileen M. Decker. “The defendants attempted to hide their activity from Medicare by seeking reimbursement for a variety of equipment. Prosecutors saw through that deception, resulting in today’s sentences and restitution orders.”
The Medicare Fraud Strike Force brought forth the case, which was investigated by the FBI, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services-Office of the Inspector General’s Los Angeles Regional Office and the California Department of Justice.