PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A nurse practitioner was sentenced to serve seven years in prison for collecting nearly $12 million for hundreds of services he never performed, according to U.S. Attorney Zachary Cunha.
Alexander Istomin, 56, pleaded guilty in October to health care fraud, mail fraud, aggravated identity theft and causing the introduction of misbranded drugs into interstate commerce.
Cunha said Istomin routinely submitted fake claims for in-person services he supposedly performed at a fake office in East Greenwich. He used this “ghost office” to receive the insurance payments he illegally applied for.
Investigators later found that patients Istomin claimed he met with were out of the country at the time of the supposed visits, according to court documents. He himself was out of the country in other instances.
Cunha said Istomin also waived copayments for some Medicare patients as a bribe to keep them quiet and distributed prescription drugs to people other than those whose names the prescriptions were filled.
Istomin’s sentence will be followed by three years of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay a $30,000 fine and pay the $11,923,686.30 he stole in restitution.
“This sentence is more than just, given that this is not the first time Mr. Istomin has been accused of health care fraud, nor is it his first brush with the law,” FBI Boston Division Special Agent Joseph Bonavolonta said. “The unscrupulous tactics he used to steal from taxpayers is what drives our investigators to combat healthcare fraud.”