A Russian immigrant nurse practitioner was sentenced to seven years in prison for receiving nearly $12 million for hundreds of services he never performed. The edition told in more detail WPRI.
56-year-old Alexander Istomin pleaded guilty in healthcare fraud, aggravated identity theft, and solicitation of misbranded interstate drugs.
Istomin regularly filed fake applications for services that he allegedly provided personally in a fictitious office in East Greenwich, Rhode Island. He used this "ghost office" to collect illegal insurance payments.
According to court documents, investigators determined that the patients whom Istomin said he met were out of the country at the time of the alleged visits. He himself has been far out of the country on other occasions.
Istomin, among other things, refused co-payments for some Medicare patients, although he knew that waiving co-payments was prohibited. Dodger persuaded his patients not to report his fraudulent billing to Medicare and gave money for such silence.
The nurse used the names of patients and other information to obtain prescriptions he kept, prosecutors said. Istomin ordered that he be given medicines, which he then distributed to persons other than those in whose name the prescriptions were written.
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Istomin's imprisonment will be followed by three years of parole. In addition, he must pay a fine of $30 and compensate for the $000 he stole as restitution.
“This verdict is more than fair given that this is not the first time Istomin has been charged with health care fraud,” said Boston FBI Special Agent Joseph Bonavolonta. "The unscrupulous tactics he used to steal from taxpayers motivate our investigators to further crack down on healthcare fraud."