Queens dentists stole Medicaid funds: AG

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Three family members from Kew Gardens and Forest Hills were indicted last week on charges of stealing millions of dollars from the state’s Medicaid program, state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said.

The indictment filed by Cuomo’s office in Brooklyn Supreme Court June 2 alleges that David Ibragimov, 49, and his son Arthur Ibragimov, 26, both of Kew Gardens, and his son-in-law Mikhail Isakov, 27, of Forest Hills paid Medicaid recipients, many of them from homeless shelters, to come into the dental offices they ran in Queens, the Bronx and Brooklyn. The clinic in Queens was at 165-10 Jamaica Ave. More than 35 dentists worked at the clinics.

Bruce Speiser, 49, of Ronkonkoma, a dentist who worked for the family, has been charged with pressuring recruiters, known as “flyer boys” to search for patients.

The Ibragimovs and Isakov pleaded not guilty in Brooklyn Supreme Court last week.

Between Jan. 1, 2006, and April 7, 2010, the three men allegedly pocketed $5.7 million from the state after paying the “flyer boys” to bring Medicaid clients to the clinics, according to Cuomo. The clients, who Cuomo said were given “substandard treatment,” were allegedly paid in cash as well as given CD players and McDonald’s gift certificates.

The men required the dentists they employed to pay two-thirds of their Medicaid billings to various corporations owned by the three individuals, including AN International LLC, MA Concord LLC and MB Globus LLC, all of which were indicted by Cuomo as well.

“These individuals and the companies they control are accused of masterminding a multimillion-dollar theft from the taxpayer-funded Medicaid program,” Cuomo said. “My office has been a national leader in prosecuting Medicaid fraud, successfully recovering nearly $700 million. This case is another example of our commitment to protecting taxpayers and working to ensure that a vital health care program can provide important public services with efficiency and integrity.”

According to Cuomo, the Ibragimovs and Isakov routinely pressured the dentists at their clinics to push and bill “high value” and “quick turnaround service,” including forcing Medicaid recipients to agree to be fitted for dentures the same day their teeth were extracted and before their gums could heal.

Cuomo and his office are still investigating numerous dentists employed by the Ibragimovs and Isakov and he said additional charges are anticipated. The attorney general has also filed a civil lawsuit against the three men seeking $7 million in damages.

Reach reporter Anna Gustafson by e-mail at agustafson@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4574.

Updated 5:50 pm, October 10, 2011
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