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Man pleads guilty to $3.1M Medicare fraud scheme

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A Southern California man pleaded guilty today to submitting false enrollment applications to Medicare that hid the real owners of a fraudulent hospice company, which then submitted over $3.1 million in false and fraudulent claims to Medicare.

According to court documents, Karen Sarkisyan, aka Kevin Sarkisyan, 44, of Glendale, submitted false and fraudulent Medicare enrollment forms for San Gabriel Hospice and Palliative Care Inc. (San Gabriel), falsely identifying a straw owner as the sole owner and manager, concealing the actual beneficial owners and managers. San Gabriel submitted approximately $3,668,050 in false and fraudulent claims to Medicare, of which $3,180,677 was paid after Sarkisyan submitted the false enrollment applications.

Sarkisyan pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 11 and faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors. 

Co-conspirator Gayk Akhsharumov previously pleaded guilty to health care fraud conspiracy and is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 14. A third co-conspirator was indicted for his role in the scheme but remains a fugitive.

Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Martin Estrada for the Central District of California, Assistant Director in Charge Donald Always of the FBI Los Angeles Field Office, and Special Agent in Charge Timothy B. DeFrancesca of the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG) made the announcement.

The FBI Los Angeles Field Office and HHS-OIG are investigating the case.

Assistant Chief Niall M. O’Donnell and Trial Attorneys Patrick J. Queenan and Alexandra Michael of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section are prosecuting the case.

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