LOS ANGELES – On May 3, 2019 the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced that 15 chiropractors have been charged in a $6 million insurance fraud and illegal kickback scheme involving automobile collision medical claims.
The felony complaint lists a total of 18 felony counts, including charges against all of the defendants of insurance fraud and participating in patient referral rebates when licensed in the healing arts or as a chiropractor. Most of the 15 suspects were arrested in a sweep on May 2nd.
The alleged ringleader of the operation, Yury Chernega, 47, of Studio City, also faces four counts of failure to file income tax return and one count of money laundering. The charges include allegations of taking more than $500,000 from about 30 insurance companies through fraud and embezzlement.
He faces a possible maximum sentence of 18 years and nine months in state prison if convicted as charged. Prosecutors are requesting that his bail be set at $325,000.
From 2015 through 2018, Chernega allegedly offered to refer new patients to other chiropractors in return for an illegal referral fee, through which he collected about $6 million, prosecutors said. The patients allegedly had been involved in automobile collisions.
The defendants also are accused of filing false claims for medical services they never provided. Additionally, Chernega allegedly didn’t report the income from the illegal kickbacks on his taxes.
“These types of investigations can be lengthy and complicated and benefit from the expertise of investigators from multiple agencies,” said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona. “Thank you to state investigators whose work lead to the arrests of these unscrupulous suspected criminals.”
Chernega’s alleged co-conspirators, their recommended bail and possible maximum prison sentence are:
- Michael Milman (dob 3/26/66) of Beverly Hills, $200,000 bail, 10 years and six months in prison
• John Sherf (dob 8/28/75) of Sherman Oaks, $200,000 bail, 18 years and six months in prison
• Jae Ho Park (dob 4/26/68) of Coto de Caza, $225,000 bail, 11 years and six months in prison
• Danush Haghani (dob 1/9/73) of Yorba Linda, $225,000 bail, 11 years and six months in prison
• Kamron Nourgostar (dob 7/15/83) of Irvine, $200,000 bail, 10 years and six months in prison
• David Wayne Ginoza (dob 5/15/64) of Torrance, $200,000 bail, 10 years and six months in prison
• Alan P. Grubstein (dob 2/27/50) of Rancho Cucamonga, $225,000 bail, 11 years and six months in prison
• Kamiar Riahi (dob 8/8/74) of Woodland Hills, $200,000 bail, 10 years and six months in prison
• Sam Amirmoazzami (dob 12/11/73) of Encino, $225,000 bail, 11 years and six months in prison
• Robin Stacy Long (dob 5/19/68) of Newhall, $200,000 bail, 10 years and six months in prison
• Ramin Lavi (dob 7/21/63) of Chatsworth, $225,000 bail, 11 years and six months in prison
• Gustavo Adolfo Nino (dob 3/17/64) of Pasadena, $200,000 bail, 10 years and six months in prison
• Nahid Haji Acs (dob 2/23/57) of Rancho Cucamonga, $200,000 bail, 10 years and six months in prison
• Victoria Davidovsky Lucas (dob 9/1/68) of Pacific Palisades, $200,000 bail, 10 years and six months in prison
Deputy District Attorneys Heba Matta and LaChandra Wilkerson of the Auto Insurance Fraud Division are prosecuting the case.
The case remains under investigation by the District Attorney’s Office, Bureau of Investigation, with assistance from the California Department of Insurance, the California Franchise Tax Board, the California Board of Chiropractic Examiners and the National Insurance Crime Bureau.