The manager in control of multiple medical clinics in Queens and Brooklyn was convicted Friday for his role in a nearly $100 million health care kickback and money laundering scam.
A federal jury in Brooklyn returned a guilty verdict on all counts Friday against Aleksandr Pikus, 44, of Brooklyn, following a two-week trial before United States District Court Judge Ann M. Donnelly. When sentenced, Pikus faces a maximum sentence of up to 70 years imprisonment.
“Pikus’ health care schemes were a toxic brew of kickbacks and money laundering that streamed millions of dollars into the pockets of the defendant and his co-conspirators at the expense of the Medicare and Medicaid programs,” United States Attorney Richard P. Donoghue for the Eastern District of New York said. “Today’s verdict demonstrates the resolve of this office and our law enforcement partners to protect taxpayer-funded health care programs which our citizens rely.”
According to the evidence presented at trial, Pikus and his co-conspirators operated a series of medical clinics in Queens and Brooklyn for nearly a decade that employed doctors, physical and occupational therapists and other medical professionals who were enrolled in the Medicare and Medicaid programs and submitted nearly $96 million in medical claims to those programs.
In return for his referrals, Pikus received illegal kickbacks from the medical providers in the form of checks payable to shell companies that he and his co-conspirators controlled. Prosecutors said Pikus then laundered a substantial portion of the illegal proceeds of the scheme through check-cashing businesses and failed to report that cash income to the IRS. Pikus used the cash to enrich himself and pay patient recruiters, including ambulette drivers, who paid beneficiaries to receive treatment at the defendant’s medical clinics.
“The jury’s verdict reflects the tireless work of our dedicated prosecutors and law enforcement partners to achieve justice and protect these essential healthcare programs on behalf of American taxpayers,” Assistant Attorney GeneralBrian A. Benczkowski said.
Pikus is the fifth defendant convicted in this indictment, according to federal authorities. More than 25 other individuals have pleaded guilty to or have been convicted of participating in the scheme, including physicians, therapists, ambulette drivers, and the owners of several sham shell companies used to launder the stolen money