The Office Is Closed

Medicare enrollment form and glasses

Alexander Istomin, a registered nurse and nurse practitioner, really didn’t want to get close to the patients. So, he made his own business. A business built to defraud Medicare of nearly $12 million for patient services that never happened. Using the address of an empty office located in Rhode Island, Istomin routinely submitted fraudulent claims for in-person patient services that he never performed. The office was empty, no patients were ever seen there, and the only time Istomin was in Rhode Island was to pick up his mail. Istomin used seven different tax identification numbers while defrauding the U.S. taxpayer out of a total of $11,923,686.30.

Istomin’s claims were filled with lies. Many patients that supposedly were receiving treatment in Istomin’s office were actually out of the country during the time of supposed treatments. Or the patients were in the country, but Istomin was outside of the country. He was in Russia more than Rhode Island! He was able to go on with the fraud for so long because he had seven different tax identification numbers to conduct fraud with.

Beyond billing, for “fake” visits he would also use those patient names to fill prescriptions and then sell them to other people. To prevent patients from reporting him, Istomin would wave copayments as a bonus to receiving drugs. Someone eventually reported him and now Istomin is serving seven years in prison.

Great job by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in this investigation.

Today’s Fraud Of The Day is based on article “Nurse Practitioner Sentenced For $12M Medicare Fraud Scheme” published by on April 10, 2023

Nurse Practitioner (NP) Alexander A. Istomin, 57, was sentenced to 7 years in federal prison on April 5th, 2023. After being accused of defrauding commercial health insurers and Medicare of roughly $12 million in three states, Istomin plead guilty in October 2022. Read the full case here. 

According to U.S. Attorney Zachary A. Cunha, Istomin was seeking payments for patient services that were never really performed. Istomin admitted to submitting fraudulent claims for in-person patient services that he did not perform. According to detectives, Istomin had a “ghost office” in Rhode Island and offices located in Florida and New York.

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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.