|Charges||Conspiracy to commit health care fraud|
|Amount of Arrears||$1,500,000|
On June 30, 2014, Zoya Belov was sentenced to a year-and-a-half in jail and ordered to pay $1.5 million in restitution, joint and several, after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud. Belov, who with co-conspirators allegedly defrauded the Medicare program, was captured on March 23, 2011 at the San Francisco International Airport.
The purported leader of the conspiracy, Vardges Egiazarian, owned three medical clinics in eastern California (specifically, in Sacramento, Richmond and Carmichael). From February 2006 to August 2008, these clinics allegedly submitted a total of nearly $5.2 million worth of false billings to Medicare, of which Medicare paid approximately $1.5 million. Belov, a medical assistant at the clinics, falsely claimed to have performed medical tests on patients, and requested reimbursements from Medicare, OIG alleges.
The fraud was purportedly accomplished by recruiting and paying third parties to pretend to be "patients" who wished to receive medical treatment at one of the alleged conspirators' clinics. Normally, patients must pay for a certain portion of their medical expenses, and Medicare may pay the remainder. In this fraud, the individuals pretending to be patients were paid by the conspirators to state that they needed medical treatment when they did not.
Belov would allegedly perform unnecessary medical tests on the patients, or fraudulently claim to have performed the tests when she had not. Belov and others then submitted the fraudulent claims to Medicare for medical services that were not performed, not performed as billed, or unnecessary, according to OIG.
In an attempt to conceal the alleged fraud from Medicare representatives, Belov allegedly lied about the whereabouts and activities of the other conspirators.
- Health Care Fraud