A Brooklyn resident pleaded guilty to fraud charges in federal court on Friday. Gregory Konoplya, 57, will now face sentencing for his part in an elaborate kickback scheme that funneled $13 million in fraudulent claims from Medicare and Medicaid into a Brooklyn medical clinic.
According to court documents, between 2009 and 2012 Konoplya recruited Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries with cash kickbacks, inducing them to attend the Cropsey Medical Care clinic in Brooklyn.
Once at the clinic, patients would be paid more kickbacks to continue coming to Cropsey for unnecessary medical care and testing, which the clinic would then fraudulently bill to Medicare and Medicaid.
Konoplya and others involved in the fraud even filed fraudulent bills for the ambulette service Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries used to travel back and forth between Cropsey clinic and home.
In all, the clinic charged Medicare $8.1 million in fraudulent claims and Medicaid $5.7 million.
The indictment, filed in September of last year, lists eight other defendants in the fraud case, including other patient recruiters, the facility’s manager, and Cropsey’s medical director. Konoplya is the first to plead out.
Six defendants–Dr. Okon Umana, Olga Novogorodsky, Igor Kuleshov, Pavel Zborovskiy, Leonid Zalkind, and Niazaly Kaipov–also face money laundering charges.
Konoplya faces up to five years in prison, $850,000 in fines, $429,000 in restitution, and $429,000 in forfeiture.
See the original indictment below.