Armenian man pleads guilty in $1.5M healthcare fraud case - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Man pleads guilty in $1.5M healthcare fraud case

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BRUNSWICK, GA (WTOC) -

An Armenian man pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court to money laundering through a phony business in Brunswick.

Avetik Moskovian, was living in Los Angeles until he was arrested and was on a permanent residence card from Armenia. The probe involved several jurisdictions and more than $100 million worth of phony claims submitted to Medicare. 

From 2007 to 2008, millions of dollars of phony claims were submitted to Medicare for services by Brunswick Medical Supply that were never rendered, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Georgia.

The conspirators stole identities for doctors and patients from several different states, including Alaska, California, New York, and Ohio, and also submitted claims for people who were dead at the time that Moskovian claimed the medical equipment had been provided.

Medicare paid the phony claims. Moskovian and other took several steps to launder the stolen money – including setting up at least four sham businesses in Los Angeles, opening multiple bank accounts in the names of these businesses and using these bank accounts to launder the funds d at Brunswick Medical Supply.  

Several transactions such as wire transfers and counter withdrawals of tens of thousands of dollars in cash were made to find the money. 

Moskovian faces up to 20 years in prison, a fine up to $500,000 and five years of supervised release. His sentencing has not yet been scheduled until after the U.S. Probation Office finishes a presentence investigation.   

"Moskovian and others in this criminal organization thought that they could exploit Medicare to steal from this nation's taxpayers and then avoid detection through this defendant's money laundering operations.  They were wrong.  With this money laundering conviction, this Office and its law enforcement partners have taken another important step towards cleaning up the fraud in our nation's health care programs," said U.S. Attorney Edward J. Tarver in a statement.

More than 35 defendants were charged as part of the investigation in Brunswick, New York, Los Angeles, Cleveland and Albuquerque. 

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