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We provide legal representation in the areas of civil rights, criminal law, family law, divorce, & child custody disputes in New Jersey & New York and Federal courts.
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1123 Avenue Z Brooklyn, NY 11235

arkady.bukh@yahoo.com
 
May
05 Wednesday
2010

Physical Therapy clinic accused of Medicare fraud

A Federal raid went down in Queens Wednesday morning on a physical therapy clinic in Queens.

Four people are now charged with paying kickbacks to Medicare patients for therapy they never received, and didn't need in the first place.

The alleged Medicare fraud took in several million dollars.

Something just wasn't quite right at Solstice Wellness Center, a clinic that seemed to be thriving.

Wednesday morning agents with the Office of the Inspector General raided and shut down the operation, and arrested the head of the clinic, Dmitry Shteyman.

Authorities say the 35-year-old, along with his brother Aleksey and two other employees, paid people in the community $50 a visit for services like physical therapy and diagnostic tests that either weren't needed or never happened.

Solstice would then allegedly bill Medicare for the false claims.

OIG agents say red flags were popping up everywhere.

"Most Medicare beneficiaries shouldn't receive $200 or $300 physical sessions a year, that's mind boggling," said Tom O'Donnell, of the Office of the Inspector General.

Authorities say since the clinic opened 14 months ago, it falsely billed Medicare for millions by adding hundreds of phony patients who agreed to play along with the scheme.

Strike Force operations are in place in six other cities across the country.

So far, this is the biggest take down in this district.

"They really didn't have a health care background, but yet were running health care, so kind of puppet masters," said O'Donnell.

Agents added that they believe this is just the tip of the iceberg, that this ongoing investigation will uncover even more fraudulent activity.

(Copyright ©2010 WABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)
June
09 Wednesday
2010

FBI raids alleged New York City boiler room

The FBI raided an alleged Manhattan boiler room brokerage with links to the mob.

Agents arrested several people Wednesday at an office building on West 36th Street.

Authorities said the illicit brokerage was artificially inflating the value of a stock in a company with misleading sales pitches.

Ten defendants were arrested on Wednesday,one remains at large and two more are expected to surrender to authorities at a later date.

Among those under arrest are Steven Kimmel, a former Securities and Exchange Commission official, and Anthony Guarino, a reputed solider in the Bonanno crime family.

Investigators said Guarino ran the scam's daily "boiler room" style operation under the name Powercom Energy Services Corp out of the sixth floor of the Garment District building.

For nine years, they allegedly sold stock in two sham companies -- Realcast Live, based in Miami, Fla., and BBC Gaming Inc., based at 244 Fifth Avenue.

Realcast Live was run by Kimmel, according to investigators.

At the boiler room, salesmen placed cold calls to senior citizens, offering stock in the companies.

Investigators said salesmen collected 40% of the investment money as commission.

One investor lost his $50,000 life savings while another investor saw half of his $700,000 stock buy disappear as commission, authorities said.

September
22 Wednesday
2010

59 NYC cabbies accused of doubling fares

Dozens of New York City taxi drivers have been arrested on charges of quietly doubling the rates that thousands of passengers should have paid. Officials say tourists and residents unsuspectingly overpaid hundreds of thousands of dollars in all.

Some of the cabbies were so ashamed, they hid their faces here at criminal court, but investigators pushed right on -- to identify them, cuff them, even frisk them.

The cabbies are charged with felony fraud in a scheme so widespread Manhattan's district attorney says it's sending ripples of mistrust throughout the city.

"Customers were being ripped off at a record pace, sometimes by individual drivers. Dozens of times a day by unscrupulous drivers, who scammed and went unnoticed for many years," Cyrus Vance Jr. said.

They say it all involved just a touch of the meter, setting it to something called rate code 4, which doubles the fare and is only meant for rides that enter the suburbs.

Investigators now say that the 59 drivers arrested stole more than 235-thousand dollars from un-witting passengers.

Kisha DeSandies visiting from out of town says she could've been one of them.

"Because you never know what the taxi fare's supposed to be and they try to tell you, and you can't really argue with them. They want their money," she said.

A lawyer representing some of the cabbies insists his clients did nothing wrong.

"There's zone 1,2,3 and 4. They're small buttons. A taxi driver picks up a fare, presses the wrong button. A mistake," Seth Katz said.

Not to this level, authorities say.

One driver is accused of overcharging passengers more than 5 thousand times stealing more than 11 thousand dollars from them.

All tolled, some 45 drivers were being arraigned on charges of scheming to defraud. Another 14 face petty larceny charges.

Taxi and Limousine Commission Chairman David Yassky says officials are pursuing administrative penalties against roughly 2,000 drivers over the issue.

(Copyright ©2010 WABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)