The former co-owner of a Los Angeles home health agency was sentenced Monday to 10 years behind bars for participating in a $22 million Medicare fraud scheme.
Angela Avetisyan, 43, of Glendale was also ordered to pay $4.2 million in restitution to Medicare — with $10,000 due immediately — and serve three years of supervised release after she is released from federal prison.
“There are no known mitigating factors,” U.S. District Judge Otis D. Wright II said from the bench.
Avetisyan — who pleaded guilty to a federal conspiracy charge — was the co-owner of Fifth Avenue Home Health and the office manager of a Los Angeles medical clinic owned and operated by Dr. Robert A. Glazer, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
From January 2006 through May 2014, Avetisyan and Glazer billed Medicare for services that were not medically necessary, and at times were not provided to the Medicare beneficiaries, documents show.
In addition, Glazer signed prescriptions, certifications and other medical documents for medically unnecessary home health services, hospice services, power wheelchairs and other durable medical equipment, prosecutors said.
At the conclusion of a seven-day trial on Friday, Glazer, 73, who owned Glazer Clinic, was found guilty of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and a dozen counts of health care fraud. Co-defendant Marina Merino, 62, who recruited patients as part of the scam, was convicted of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and eight counts of health care fraud. Sentencing is set for Sept. 9.
Based on the fraudulent prescriptions and certifications, the medical supply companies, home health agencies, including Fifth Avenue, and other providers allegedly submitted false and fraudulent claims to Medicare, according to the DOJ.
Avetisyan and Glazer were responsible for about $33 million in false and fraudulent claims to Medicare, which paid about $22 million on those claims, prosecutors said.
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