LAWFUEL – Legal Newswire – Los Angeles, California – The owner/operator of A & L Nursing Registry located in Pasadena, California, pleaded guilty to charges including health care fraud, conspiracy and money laundering in United States District Court in Los Angeles this afternoon.
Arthur Pilavyan, of Altadena, who was previously indicted by a federal grand jury in Los Angeles in March 2007, had no background or experience in nursing. Pilavyan operated as a “capper” who recruited Medicare beneficiaries to receive home health services. Pilavyan admitted in his plea agreement that he conspired with Lourdes Perez, the owner of Provident Home Health Care Services, Inc., and other employees of Provident, to defraud Medicare.
According to his plea agreement, Pilavyan specified that, beginning in February 2002 and continuing through September 2003, he would recruit Medicare beneficiaries who were willing to sign up for home health services, inducing some to accept home health services and to sign paperwork by paying them approximately $100 to $400 in cash. Upon signing up the Medicare beneficiaries, Pilavyan would refer them to Provident Home Health Care Services, Inc., of Eagle Rock, California. Provident would pay Pilavyan approximately $1,200 to $1,700 per Medicare beneficiary for those that received intermittent care and approximately $4,800 per Medicare beneficiary for twice-a-day care even though the beneficiaries were not confined to the home and did not need skilled nursing or therapy services.
Pilavyan, and others, would have beneficiaries pre-sign blank admission and other processing forms for home health services. With Pilavyan’s knowledge, nurses would falsify the processing forms to make it appear that medical and home health services were rendered to the beneficiaries. Pilavyan admitted in his plea agreement that his scheme caused Medicare to lose at least $401,000. However, the government contends that the loss to Medicare resulting from the scheme is about $7 million.
Further, Pilavyan admitted that, in an effort to conceal payments he was receiving from Provident, he directed Lourdes Perez to split the payments Provident made to him and make some of the payments in cash, some by check to A & L Nursing Registry, and some by check to nominees other than A & L. Pilavyan admitted that he would issue checks from A & L to individuals and entities that would convert the checks to cash and pay approximately 80% to 85% of the value of the check back to Pilavyan, retaining approximately 15% to 20% as a “changing fee” for their services. Pilavyan also admitted that he withdrew over $100,000 in cash from the A & L Nursing account he controlled.
When sentenced, Pilavyan faces a statutory maximum of 40 years in federal prison and fines totaling $1,000,000. United States District Judge Stephen V. Wilson ordered Pilavyan to appear for sentencing on 10/29/2007. Pilavyan will remain in custody pending his sentencing in October.
This case is the result of a joint investigation conducted by Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.