Electric-powered Fraud

22477505 - medical and health insurance claim form with stethoscope on clipboard

Listen to this StoryThe Long Beach Post reports that a married couple was convicted of health care fraud because they paid kickbacks to receive and fill prescriptions for electric wheelchairs. The story states that a jury found the pair guilty on one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and five counts of health care fraud. (Despite this couple’s affinity for electricity, they evidently did not employ the services of a high-powered defense attorney; or if they did, he/she couldn’t help.)

According to the story, the fraudster husband and wife team ran a ”durable medical equipment supply company” in Long Beach. Between 2006 and 2013, the couple paid illegal kickbacks to patient recruiters, who sent patients to their company with prescriptions primarily for electric wheelchairs. Likewise, the couple illegally compensated doctors for fraudulent prescriptions for electric wheelchairs, which the supply company owners then used to illegally bill Medicare. (Apparently, this couple forgot that Medicare’s prescription benefit program was created so that parties involved would pay LESS.)

The story explains that between 2006 and 2013, the couple billed Medicare for $1,520,727 in fraudulent prescriptions. They were reimbursed $783,756 for those claims. (How much of that money they then proceeded to pay out to their network of co-conspiring patient recruiters and doctors was not included in the story.) These fraudsters had their scheme uncovered by a cooperative effort known as the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, which involved collaboration between the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – Office of the Inspector General’s Los Angeles Regional Office and the California Department of Justice. They will be sentenced on December 14 by the same judge who presided over their case.

This is another feather in the cap of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force. Kudos to them for their efforts in cutting the cord and shutting down these fraudsters. Hopefully, whatever sentence they receive empowers them to become more productive members of society in the future.


Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article titled, ”Long Beach Couple Convicted of Health Care Fraud in $1.5 Million Medicare Fraud Scheme,” written by Stephanie Rivera and published by The Long Beach Post on October 16, 2015.

A federal jury in Los Angeles convicted a Long Beach couple on Thursday of health care fraud charges in connection with a $1.5 million Medicare fraud scheme, according to the Department of Justice.

Amalya Cherniavsky, 41—the former owner of JC Medical Supply, a purported durable medical equipment supply company—and her husband Vladislav Tcherniavsky, 46—who co-operated the business—were both convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and five counts of health care fraud, the DOJ announced.

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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.