Two hospice facility owners were arrested Thursday in Los Angeles on criminal charges related to an alleged health care fraud scheme that involved billing for services purportedly provided to Medicare beneficiaries who did not exist, the U.S. Department of Justice announced.

Oganes Doganyan, 49, of Northridge, and Kristine Arutyunyan, 38, of Glendale, allegedly paid illegal kickbacks for the referral of beneficiary information that could be used to bill for supposed hospice services, according to the DOJ.

Prosecutors also allege that Doganyan and Arutyunyan caused bogus claims to be billed to Medicare for hospice services that were medically unnecessary, not eligible for reimbursement, and not provided.

Doganyan and Arutyunyan are scheduled to make their initial appearances Thursday afternoon in Los Angeles federal court.

The defendants are charged with conspiracy to commit health care fraud, health care fraud, conspiracy to pay and receive kickbacks and paying kickbacks. If convicted of all charges, Doganyan and Arutyunyan each face up to 35 years in prison, the DOJ noted.

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