LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – Three defendants facing charges of defrauding Medicare by billing for medical treatments and services that were unnecessary or that were not provided were arraigned this morning in United States District Court in Los Angeles.
The three defendants, who along with a fourth defendant were charged in three indictments returned last Wednesday by a federal grand jury in Los Angeles, are accused of health care fraud. The defendants were charged as part of an ongoing two-year investigation into fraudulent claims that were submitted to Medicare.
The defendants, all of whom pleaded not guilty this morning to charges contained in nine-count indictments, are:
* Gayane Kazaryan, 46, of Valley Village;
* Richard Coleman, 53, of Inglewood; and
* Archie Edward Beauford, 53, of Los Angeles.
* The fourth defendant, Jose Erineo Madrid, 34, of Compton, who was indicted with Kazaryan, is a fugitive.
* According to the indictments, the defendants drove Medicare beneficiaries to various clinics, where their beneficiary cards were used to bill Medicare for services that were not necessary or were not provided by the clinics at all. The clinics paid the defendants cash for delivering the patients, and the defendants, in turn, paid the Medicare beneficiaries.
* The indictment against Kazaryan and Madrid alleges more than $50,000 was billed against the Medicare cards of beneficiaries recruited and driven to clinics by those two defendants.
* An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
* Each count of health care fraud carries statutory maximum punishment of 10 years in federal prison.
* This case was investigated by the West Covina Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General.