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Five Men Posse held by Lady Justice for Swindling Over $15M from Medicare Through Feigned Hospices and Money Laundering


The defendants fraudulently used doctors' identifying information to submit false claims to Medicare, falsely stating that hospice services were required based on the doctors' recommendations.


Yesterday in Los Angeles, law enforcement apprehended five individuals on criminal charges connected to their involvement in a long-term plot to deceive Medicare. This scheme involved fictitious hospice companies and resulted in the illegal laundering of over $15 million in fraudulent proceeds.


An indictment that was unsealed yesterday reveals that three individuals, namely Petros Fichidzhyan, Juan Carlos Esparza, and Karpis Srapyan, allegedly ran a network of fraudulent hospice companies. These companies were supposedly owned by foreign nationals, but in reality, they were owned by the three defendants themselves. The defendants utilized the personal information of these foreign nationals to carry out various illicit activities, such as opening bank accounts, signing property leases, and making fraudulent phone calls to Medicare. Additionally, they submitted deceitful claims to Medicare for hospice service.


The defendants fraudulently used doctors' identifying information to submit false claims to Medicare, falsely stating that hospice services were required based on the doctors' recommendations. However, the individuals supposedly in need of hospice care were not terminally ill and had not sought or received any care from the fake hospices. Additionally, the defendants inaccurately reported that the same beneficiary received services from several illegitimate hospices.


Fichidzhyan, Esparza, and Srapyan, along with Susanna Harutyunyan, 38, and Mihran Panosyan, 45, both residents of Winnetka, California, purportedly engaged in the fraudulent laundering of funds acquired from Medicare. The defendants are accused of utilizing the illicitly obtained money to purchase properties and vehicles, among various other expenditures.



Fichidzhyan, Esparza, and Srapyan have been accused of conspiring to commit health care fraud and aggravated identity theft. Fichidzhyan and Esparza are also facing charges of health care fraud. Additionally, all defendants are facing charges of money laundering and conspiracy to launder money.


Fichidzhyan is also facing charges of making false statements. If found guilty, all five defendants could potentially be sentenced to a minimum of 40 years in prison. Furthermore, Fichidzhyan, Esparza, and Srapyan could face an additional mandatory minimum of two years in prison for the aggravated identity theft charge.


The Justice Department has taken another step in its continuous fight against hospice fraud in the greater Los Angeles area by announcing the latest charges today.





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