Bye Bye, La La Land Scam  

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Surgeon picking up surgical tool from tray. Surgeon is preparing for surgery in operating room. He is in a hospital.

The last of a quintet of scam-prone California medical professionals has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud. Five medical professionals at Los Angeles Community clinic concocted a scheme that resulted in $8.4 million in fraudulent Medicaid claims. The criminal team made $6.6 million from bogus claims for family planning services, diagnostic testing, and prescriptions for nonexistent patients. (Some fraudsters create elaborate websites or execute a slew of complicated maneuvers… and others just make up imaginary people. At least no patients were harmed in the production of this massive fraud – too bad we can’t say the same for taxpayers.)

Physician Keyvan Amirikhorheh is scheduled for sentencing in October. As part of his plea agreement, Amirikorheh agreed not to dispute the revocation of his medical license, and not to attempt reinstating it for at least five years. (Given that he’s facing a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, that doesn’t seem like a huge sacrifice.)

His four criminal co-workers had already pleaded guilty to the Medicaid scheme, including Hilda Haroutunian, with sentencing in December; Lorraine Watson, to be sentenced in September; Edmond Sarkisyan, with sentencing in July; and Noem Sarkisyan, to be sentenced in September. (We know how expensive it is to live in the LA area, but this was a very poorly considered side gig.)

Today’s Fraud of the Day comes from a press release from the United States Department of Justice, “Physician Pleads Guilty in Medicaid Fraud Conspiracy,” dated June 2, 2021.

A California man pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to commit health care fraud.

According to court documents, Keyvan Amirikhorheh, M.D, 61, of Seal Beach, worked as a physician at Los Angeles Community Clinic. Together with his co-defendants, Amirikhorheh defrauded the Family Planning, Access, Care and Treatment (Family PACT) program administered by Medi-Cal, the California Medicaid program, by submitting and causing the submission of fraudulent claims for family planning services, diagnostic testing, and prescriptions for non-existent patients.

Additional information comes from a CBS Los Angeles article, “Seal Beach Doctor Keyvan Amirikhorheh Pleads Guilty to Participating in $8.4M Healthcare Fraud Scheme, “ dated June 2, 2021.

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Larry Benson, Senior Director of Strategic Alliances, LexisNexis Risk Solutions - Government

Larry Benson is responsible for developing strategic partnerships and solutions for the government vertical. His expertise focuses on how government programs are defrauded by criminal groups, and the approaches necessary to prevent them from succeeding.

Mr. Benson has 30 years of experience in sales and business development. Before joining LexisNexis® Risk Solutions, he spent 12 years founding and managing two software technology startups. During the 1990s he spent 10 years as a Regional Director helping to grow a New England-based technology company from 300 employees to 7,000. He started his career with Martin Marietta Aerospace working on laser guided weapons and day/night vision systems.

A sought-after speaker and accomplished writer, Mr. Benson is the principal author of “Fraud of the Day,” a website dedicated to educating government officials about how criminals are defrauding government programs. He has co-authored WTF? Where’s the Fraud? How to Unmask and Stop Identity Fraud’s Drain on Our Government, and Data Personified, How Fraud is Changing the Meaning of Identity.

Benson holds a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Albright College, and earned two graduate degrees – a Master of Business Administration from Florida Institute of Technology, and a Master of Science in Engineering from Lehigh University.