Two California hospice facility owners were arrested today in Los Angeles on criminal charges related to their alleged participation in a kickback and health care fraud scheme.
According to court documents, Oganes Doganyan, 49, of Northridge, and Kristine Arutyunyan, 38, of Glendale, paid illegal kickbacks for the referral of Medicare beneficiary information that could be used to bill for purported hospice services. Doganyan and Arutyunyan also caused false and fraudulent claims to be billed to Medicare for hospice services that were medically unnecessary, not eligible for reimbursement, and not provided, including for services purportedly provided to Medicare beneficiaries who did not exist.
Doganyan and Arutyunyan are charged with conspiracy to commit health care fraud, health care fraud, conspiracy to pay and receive kickbacks, and paying kickbacks. If convicted, Doganyan and Arutyunyan each face a maximum total penalty of 35 years in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; U.S. Attorney Tracy L. Wilkison of the Central District of California; Acting Assistant Director Jay Greenberg of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division; Assistant Director in Charge Kristi K. Johnson 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 the Inspector General (HHS-OIG), Los Angeles Regional Office, made the announcement.
The FBI Los Angeles Field Office and HHS-OIG are investigating the case.
Trial Attorneys Justin Givens and Helen Lee of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section are prosecuting the case.
An indictment is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.