A Staten Island man and his brother are charged with bilking millions of dollars from insurance companies, through fake purchases of medical equipment, according to the Staten Island Advance.
Aleksandr Finkelshteyn, 35, of Concord, along with Robert Finkelshteyn, 32, of Brooklyn, are accused of submitting bills for things such as wheelchairs, hospital beds, catheters, nebulizers, iron lungs and oxygen tents, the Advance said.
Prosecutors say the Finkelshteyns, in collusion with the suppliers, never received the equipment. Moreover, the prices for some equipment were almost 15 times what those items normally cost.
The FBI said co-conspirators created 11 fake companies that claimed to sell medical equipment wholesale. The Finkelshteyns’ company would act as retailers and order specific equipment from them.
Then the Finkelshteyns would submit invoices to insurance companies for payment on the overpriced, fictional stuff that never actually got delivered, according to the FBI. They’d allegedly launder the money at a check-cashing place.
They’d write a check to the “wholesaler,” who’d hand back most of the money, the FBI said. Then they’d allegedly claim those checks to the wholesalers as business deductions on their taxes – because, hey, why not?
Checks to the fake wholesalers totaled more than $2.9 million, which they received from insurance companies, the Advance said. The scheme supposedly ran from April 2007 to August 2009.