Home Health Aides Paid Hundreds for Fraudulent Certifications
A New Jersey home health agency owner has admitted her role in a $7 million scheme to defraud Medicaid and engage in bribery, money laundering, and tax evasion, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
Among the details of the alleged crimes are actions that defrauded Medicaid by submitting false documents to the N.J. Board of Nursing, the state agency responsible for issuing home health aide certifications.
“[Irina Krutoyarsky, 61,] falsely represented that prospective home health aides had attended and satisfactorily completed required training and testing,” the FBI says in a statement. “In truth, Krutoyarsky charged prospective home health aides hundreds of dollars for fraudulently obtaining their certifications.”
Krutoyarsky, of Springfield, N.J., hired individuals with no home health certifications and no citizenship status in the country and then sent them to patients’ homes, the FBI says. Krutoyarsky and her conspirators then billed Medicaid, fraudulently claiming that the services had been provided by duly certified home health aides.
Krutoyarsky pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Katharine S. Hayden in Newark federal court to information that charged her with conspiracy to commit health care fraud, bribery, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and tax evasion.
Krutoyarsky owned HHCH Health Care Inc., of Linden, N.J, which provided home health aides and health care services to New Jersey residents. These home health aide services were subsidized under the N.J. Medical Assistance Program (Medicaid).
Krutoyarsky also allegedly fraudulently billed Medicaid for services not actually rendered to patients.
“Numerous HHCH home health aides routinely falsified records that claimed they had visited patients and provided them health care services,” the FBI says. “In truth, these home health aides had other jobs, were on vacations overseas, or were in other parts of the state during the times they claimed they were with patients.”
Home health aides sometimes gave cash kickbacks to patients who were also participating in the scheme, according to documents filed in the case and statements made in court.
Federal agents introduced a cooperating witness (CW), posing as a prospective home health aide to Krutoyarsky, according to court documents.
“During one meeting in January 2012, Krutoyarsky and another conspirator meet with the CW to discuss having him join the scheme to defraud Medicaid,” the FBI says. “In explaining the scheme, Krutoyarsky explained that they would fraudulently bill Medicaid to obtain ‘free money [from the] government.’”
Krutoyarsky’s actions also include using funds from Medicaid to purchase, maintain and pay for various properties, purchase personal property, and pay for personal expenses; bribing an N.J. Department of Labor employee; cheating the IRS out of $907,150 in taxes due and owing to the United States; and more.
The counts of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, bribery and money laundering each carry a maximum potential sentence of 10 years in prison, and the count of tax evasion carries a maximum potential sentence of five years in prison. All counts are also punishable by a fine of $250,000.
As part of the plea agreement, Krutoyarsky will be ordered to pay a $7 million forfeiture money judgment to the United States and will forfeit several homes and properties in New Jersey, New York, and Florida, as well as hundreds of thousands of dollars seized from her bank accounts or bank accounts that she controlled, the FBI says.
Krutoyarsky’s sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 14, 2015.
Written by Cassandra Dowell