The U.S. Office of the Inspector General (OIG) believes Ilya Slepak is hiding from federal authorities in Russia after being indicted on conspiracy charges to commit mail fraud and healthcare fraud. Slepak was one of several others managing a “no-fault” injury clinic in New York believed by authorities to a fraud mill siphoning money from Medicare and private insurance companies.
The alleged scheme worked by billing Medicare and insurance companies for treatment and durable medical devices for minor injuries sustained by car accident victims. According to the OIG, the treatment clinics would partner with medical supply companies to bill Medicare for unnecessary or unrendered services.
Slepak and his co-conspirators are accused of paying runners to refer accident victims and corrupt healthcare providers to aid in the scheme. Members of the health care fraud scheme are also accused of falsifying documents, paying patients and coaching them to maximize legal settlements and insurance claims even when no or minor injuries were sustained.
The medical clinics Slepak managed were owned by Leonid Kaplan. Kaplan himself pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud and was sentenced to over 7 years in prison and ordered to pay more than $2 million in restitution. Seven other individuals also pleaded guilty for their part in the fraud scheme.
Slepak and Kaplan’s alleged scheme is a clear-cut violation of the False Claims Act, a law which makes it a crime for anyone to knowingly defraud or attempt to defraud the government through any federal program. Due to their size and scope, programs like Medicare and Medicaid are extremely susceptible to instances of fraud.
The False Claims Act allows ordinary citizens with inside information about fraud perpetrated against the federal government to file lawsuits on behalf of the U.S. government. The False Claims Act awards whistleblowers between 15% and 30% (depending on the circumstances) of monies recovered in lawsuits. Sometimes, this can mean a multi-million dollar recovery for the whistleblower.
While The Cochran Firm, D.C. is not part of this investigation, our firm regularly represents whistleblowers filing False Claims Act lawsuits. If you have inside knowledge of fraud being committed against a government program, contact one of our whistleblower attorneys for a free legal consultation.