37 convicted in New York on charges of defrauding insurance companies of $12 million
Nationwide Insurance helps break up bogus medical clinic
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Dec. 14, 2006
Charley Gillespie 614-249-5701
Liz Christopher 614-249-7705
Columbus, Ohio — Nationwide Insurance helped New York authorities in an investigation of a medical management company that swindled more than $12 million from insurance companies.
The Westchester County District Attorney’s office said Elm Street Medical billed insurance companies for expensive medical services that were never provided and submitted bogus claims for medical services on behalf of patients who had not been in a car accident. The investigation resulted in 37 convictions, including six physicians who, in addition to receiving criminal sentencing, lost their licenses to practice medicine.
Nationwide’s New York Special Investigations Unit helped New York law enforcement gather evidence against Elm Street Medical by issuing a pretext policy, which is policy that undercover law enforcement used to track fraudulent claims.
The DA’s office said the clinic devised an elaborate billing scam that exploited the no-fault provisions of the New York State Comprehensive Motor Vehicle Insurance Reparations Act, which entitles persons injured in an automobile accident to a maximum of $50,000 of medical coverage, regardless of who is at fault. As a result of the investigation, a total of $2.375 million in restitution will be paid back to insurance carriers involved in the case.
“These types of fraudulent claims drain the insurance industry and affect the rates of our customers,” said Ray Albertini, associate vice president of Nationwide’s Special Investigations Unit. “This bust has recovered millions of dollars for insurance carriers, which ultimately saves our customers money in the long run.”
The last of the 37 convicted in the case, including the three principals and one accomplice, were sentenced to New York state prison in early December.
Dr. Leonid Slutsky, 51, of Great Neck, N.Y., a neurologist, was sentenced to one to three years in state prison and ordered to pay $376,000 in restitution.
Alexander Karshenboym, 45, of Woodcliff Lake, N.J., was sentenced to one to three years in state prison and ordered to pay $470,000 in restitution.
Sergey Chizhov, 60, of Cliffside Park, N.J., was sentenced to one to three years in state prison and ordered to pay $970,000 in restitution.
Ella Chizhov, 60, of Cliffside Park, N.J., was sentenced to five years probation.
Nationwide, based in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the largest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the world, with more than $158 billion in assets. Nationwide ranks #98 on the Fortune 100 list. The company provides a full range of insurance and financial services, including auto, motorcycles, boats, homeowners, life, commercial insurance, administrative services, annuities, mortgages, mutual funds, pensions and long-term savings plans. The Nationwide companies include the country’s seventh-largest property/casualty, the fourth-largest homeowners, the sixth-largest auto insurance group and the country’s largest farm owners insurer. Nationwide Life Insurance Company, the major subsidiary of Nationwide Financial, ranks 11th in assets according to A.M. Best. For more information, visit www.nationwide.com.
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