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Man faked insurance claims: DA

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Sergey Khaitov, 37, a licensed attorney who lives at 61-55 98th St., was charged with insurance fraud, grand larceny and falsifying business records, DA Richard Brown said. He faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

"The defendant, an attorney, has been charged with insurance fraud and accused of turning the state's no-fault automobile insurance system into a personal piggy bank by submitting to several major insurance carriers fraudulent claims of over $1 million," Brown said.

According to Brown and New York Police Department officials, Khaitov submitted hundreds of bogus medical claims to at least 19 insurance companies between March 1, 2003 and Jan. 21, 2004, requesting a total reimbursement amount of more than $1 million.

Khaitov bought personal information on automobile accident victims from a corrupt former employee of Vaskhod Management, a medical billing company in Brooklyn, for $54, and then used that information to submit false insurance claims for injuries that were never sustained, Brown said.

In addition, Khaitov used the names of two defunct medical clinics, Prime GBK and Acupuncture Pain Management, to cheat the insurance companies, the DA said.

Khaitov used a network of post office boxes and several bank accounts to collect on the fictitious medical bills, police said.

"Auto insurance fraud hurts everyone and significantly drives up the cost of insurance, especially here in New York City where insurance fraud costs New Yorkers $1 billion a year, nearly $400 per driver," Brown said. "The prosecution of this case sends a clear message to those who would rip off the system that they will be sought out and severely punished."

Khaitov was arraigned on Jan. 23 in Queens Criminal Court before Judge Lenore Gerald, who set bail at $250,000 and a return date of Feb. 17, the DA said.

At least 19 insurance companies were victims of the insurance scam, including Allstate Insurance Co., which was billed for $449,000 for services that were never rendered; Geico Insurance Co., which was billed $129,000; The Robert Plan, billed $300,000; Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., billed $70,000; Progress Insurance Co., billed $65,000; Country Wide Insurance Co., billed $40,000; Kemper Insurance Co., billed $20,000; and Travelers Insurance Co., billed $5,500.

The investigation leading to Khaitov's arrest began in December after a Kemper Insurance investigator uncovered suspicious billing for a treatment called "Aquamed" listing fictitious medical providers and the defunct clinics Prime GBK Pain Management and Acupuncture Pain Management, police said.

The investigation was conducted by the New York City Police Department's Fraudulent Accident Investigations Unit and the District Attorney's Organized Crime and Rackets Bureau.

Reach reporter Tien-Shun Lee by e-mail at news@timesledger.com, or call 718-229-0300, ext. 155.

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