Criminal Justice News

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Former Husband and Wife Sentenced for Fraudulent Health Care Billing Scheme

DENVER—Leonid and Yelena Stolyar, both age 51, and both of Denver, Colorado, were sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Philip A. Brimmer to serve 35 months and 37 months, respectively, in federal prison for conspiracy to commit health care fraud and money laundering, federal and state authorities announced. Following their prison sentencing, Leonid and Yelena were ordered to spend three years on supervised release. Judge Brimmer also ordered the Stolyar’s to forfeit a secondary residence and pay restitution totaling over $480,000 to the Colorado Medicaid program. Leonid was sentenced on July 27, 2012, and was immediately taken into custody. Yelena was sentenced today and will surrender herself upon designation of a facility by the Bureau of Prisons.

Leonid and Yelena Stolyar were indicted by a federal grand jury in Denver on January 3, 2011. They plead guilty before Judge Brimmer on March 22 and 27, 2012, respectively.

According to the stipulated facts contained in the plea agreements, in 2000 and 2001, Yelena Stolyar (sometimes referred to herein as Yelena) was prosecuted for health care fraud by the United States Attorney’s office for the District of Colorado. Her fraud stemmed from false billing allegations while she operated a durable medical equipment company known as Medcenter Supply. Medcenter Supply was an assumed name for Y&L corporation, a business Yelena Stolyar and Leonid Stolyar (sometimes referred to herein as Leonid or Leon) incorporated in the state of Colorado. Yelena Stolyar was sentenced August 14, 2001, by the Honorable Judge Sparr to five years’ probation. Approximately one month prior to her sentencing, the business known as Medcenter Supply began doing business as Orthomed Supply (sometimes referred to herein as Orthomed). In fact, Medicaid began receiving bills under the Orthomed Supply name for items previously associated with Medcenter Supply in August 2001.

Two weeks after sentencing, on August 29, 2001, Leon Stolyar incorporated Orthomed Supply Inc. (“Orthomed” herein) with the Secretary of State of Colorado. Thereafter, the business previously known as Medcenter Supply did business as Orthomed. However, nothing changed, the business was run by Yelena and Leonid Stolyar, the same as before the sentencing. Yelena and Leonid Stolyar anticipated an exclusion order was forthcoming and merely changed the business name so as to remove Yelena as a principal of the business and billed under the new business entity, Orthomed; in actuality, Yelena continued to manage the business the same as before her conviction and exclusion from the Medicare and Medicaid programs.

Leonid and Yelena Stolyar submitted false and fraudulent claims for durable medical equipment, items including incontinence products, ankle supports, knee supports, shoulder supports, amongst other items, with the Medicare and Colorado Medicaid Programs in order to obtain money to which the defendants were not entitled during a period of time that Yelena Stolyar was excluded from participation in the Colorado Medicaid program, the Medicare program, and all federally funded health benefit programs.

In November 2005, the Stolyars were divorced and the divorce decree memorialized her one-half interest in Orthomed. The decree also called for alimony payments to Yelena relative to her interests in Orthomed. Coincidentally, one month later, in December 2005, the Department of Health and Human Services settled a dispute with Yelena Stolyar relative to her billing of federal programs while under her previous 10-year exclusion. She agreed to a lifetime exclusion. However, she continued to participate in Orthomed the same as before this second exclusion. Their fraudulent conduct continued until the execution of a federal search warrant in 2009.

Colorado Medicaid paid approximately $3.8 million to Orthomed and the Stolyars between December 2001 and May 2009. Meanwhile, the Medicare program paid over $500,000 between December 2001 and August 2009. Many of the cooperating beneficiaries indicate they received items falsely billed to Medicare or Medicaid or items never received from the Stolyars. In June 2009, a search warrant was executed at Orthomed, where many of the Orthomed beneficiary files seized indicated falsely that legitimate products and items were provided to the beneficiaries. Subsequent to search warrant, Yelena told a cooperating witness to falsely tell law enforcement that Yelena never worked at Orthomed.

“The FBI will continue to protect taxpayers by aggressively investigating those who attempt to defraud government-sponsored health care programs,” said FBI Denver Special Agent in Charge James Yacone. “We are fully committed to working with our federal and state partners to combat health care fraud and pursue the stiffest sentences possible.”

“Health care fraud harms everyone as it increases the costs of legitimate health care for everyone,” said Lilia Ruiz, Acting Special Agent in Charge, IRS-Criminal Investigation, Denver Field Office. “IRS-Criminal Investigation together with our federal, state, and local partners will work aggressively to pursue health care fraud criminals and bring them to justice.”

“Medicare and Medicaid ensure that the most vulnerable members of our society; the elderly, poor, and our children, have the health care services they need,” said Gerald Roy, Special Agent in Charge of the Kansas City Regional Office of the Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General. “Working with our federal, state, and local law enforcement and prosecution partners, we will vigorously pursue those who prey on these programs and hold them accountable.”

“This case is an excellent example of how effective federal/state cooperation can be in rooting out fraud in health care,” said Colorado Attorney General John Suthers.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), IRS-Criminal Investigation, Health and Human Services-Office of the Inspector General, and the Colorado Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney’s Jaime Pena and Tonya Andrews.

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