Rancho Santa Margarita, CA - Vahe Tahmasian, 36, of Glendale, California, who was found guilty by a federal jury on March 21, 2014, for his role in a $1.5 million Medicare fraud and identity theft scheme, was sentenced to serve 121 months in prison today in federal court in Los Angeles.
In addition to his prison term of 121 months, he was sentenced to serve three years of supervised release and ordered to pay $994,036 in restitution to the Medicare program. Attorneys for the Justice Department made the announcement
Vahe Tahmasian, 36, of Glendale, California, was found guilty by a federal jury on March 21, 2014, for his role in a $1.5 million Medicare fraud and identity theft scheme. In addition to his prison term of 121 months, he was sentenced to serve three years of supervised release and ordered to pay $994,036 in restitution to the Medicare program.
Between April 2009 and February 2011, Tahmasian operated a Medicare fraud scheme at Orthomed Appliance Inc. (Orthomed), a DME supply company in West Hollywood, California. Tahmasian and his co-conspirator, Eric Mkhitarian, purchased Orthomed from the previous owners and put the company in the name of a “straw” owner. The defendant and his co-conspirator then stole the personal identifying information of Medicare beneficiaries and doctors in the company’s patient files, and used that information to submit a large volume of fraudulent claims to Medicare.
During a three-month period in late 2010, Tahmasian submitted more than $1.2 million in fraudulent claims to Medicare for services that were never prescribed by a physician and never provided to the Medicare beneficiaries. Tahmasian and his co-conspirator then took out more than $622,000 in cash from the company over a six-week period in early 2011. Tahmasian used a fake California driver’s license to further the fraud scheme. Tahmasian submitted a total of $1,584,640 in claims to Medicare and received approximately $994,036 on those claims.
The case was investigated by the FBI and the Los Angeles Region of HHS-OIG. The case was prosecuted by Assistant Chief Benton Curtis and Trial Attorney Alexander Porter of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section.
To learn more about the Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team (HEAT), go to: www.stopmedicarefraud.gov .