Odds are that your Los Angeles Medicare fraud charges are slightly “less intense” than 50-year old Yuri Khandrius’ charges. The Brooklyn resident just pled guilty to a massive fraud scheme — a plan to pilfer over $71 million from Medicare’s coffers.
Last Monday, Khandrius pled guilty before U.S. District Judge Nina Gershon to a slate of charges, including conspiracy to pay kickbacks, healthcare fraud, and conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud. Khandrius and others billed the federal government’s Medicare program for an array of never-provided services, tests, therapies, and office visits. They paid co-conspirators in a place that was literally called the “Kickback Room” – offering up more than 1,000 kickbacks totaling over a half a million dollars, between April and June, 2010. When Khandrius gets sentenced on March 11th, he could face up to 25 years behind bars. If the 50-year old serves his full sentence, that means he would not be released again until the age of 75.
Khandrius did not operate this “Bay Medical” scheme himself. The 15 other defendants include five money launderers, two doctors, and nine employees/owners operators of clinics. Judge Gershon will try five more defendants in January.
It’s easy for the casual, uninvolved observer to render judgment on Khandrius and his co-conspirators. How on Earth could you break the law so blatantly? What were you thinking? If you created something called the “Kickback Room,” you obviously knew that you were doing something bad – so why did you go forward and violate your own ethical compass?
Of course, if you or a loved one stands accused of similar charges, you’re probably more sympathetic. Often, people don’t really know what they’re getting into when they go down the road towards Medicare fraud or insurance fraud or other Southern California white collar crimes. Perhaps they imagine the breach in ethics would be “just a one-time thing,” but then the situation escalates. Or maybe they face peer pressure to “go deeper” into the scheme than they intended.
No matter what’s happened to you, first of all, understand that you are legally entitled to a fair defense. Take the opportunity to find a top-caliber Los Angeles criminal defense law firm to help you unpack your charges and plan how to respond to them. Second of all, recognize that you can rebound, rebuild your life and reputation, and resolve the diverse stresses that perhaps drove you to commit fraud or other criminal acts. The road ahead is not necessarily easy. But success is possible.
Connect with former prosecutor and Harvard Law School educated L.A. criminal defense lawyer, Michael Kraut, now to explore your options.