|TRENTON - Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman announced that the operators of a Middlesex County medical supply store were sentenced to state prison today for their roles in a scheme to defraud the New Jersey Medicaid program out of at least $150,000.
Marina Finkel, 50, of Old Bridge, and Yelena Medvedik, 41, of Holmdel, were each sentenced to three years in state prison by Superior Court Judge Anthony J. Mellaci, Jr. in Monmouth County. The defendants were also ordered to pay a total of $300,000, which includes restitution and a civil penalty. Finkel and Medvedik will also be debarred from participating in the Medicaid program for eight years. The defendants pleaded guilty on Oct. 3 to separate criminal accusations charging them each with second-degree conspiracy and second-degree health care claims fraud.
In pleading guilty, the defendants, who operated DNT Medical LLC, a.k.a. Comfort Health, a medical supply store located in Highland Park, admitted that between Oct. 3, 2006 and Dec. 16, 2011, they conspired to defraud the Medicaid program through the submission of false claims.
“Through their greedy and illegal actions, these defendants profited from a system meant to help New Jersey’s most vulnerable population,” Acting Attorney General Hoffman said. “My office has zero-tolerance for such behavior.”
“Defrauding Medicaid is a serious crime that has serious consequences,” Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Ronald Chillemi said. “The Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor will continue to seek lengthy prison sentences for defendants who divert funds from this much-needed program.”
An investigation by the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor determined that Finkel and Medvedik caused false claims to be submitted to Medicaid for reimbursement for orthopedic shoes when the shoes dispensed were not actually orthopedic and did not qualify for reimbursement. Finkel and Medvedik also submitted fake invoices to Medicaid for medical supplies in order to substantiate reimbursements to which they were not entitled. As a result of the fraud, the defendants obtained more than $150,000 to which they were not entitled.
Deputy Attorney General Oriana Nadraga, Sgt. Joseph Jaruszewski and Detective Jacqueline Latty were assigned to the investigation. Deputy Attorney General Derek Miller was assigned to the forfeiture matter. Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Chillemi thanked Deputy Attorney General Nina Bonner, Principal Research Analyst Bethany Schussler, Medicaid Analyst James Reilly, and Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services Consultant Cynthia Minelli for their roles in the investigation. In addition, Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Chillemi thanked the New Jersey Office of Legislative Services for referring the matter.
Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Chillemi noted that some important cases have started with anonymous tips. People who are concerned about insurance cheating and have information about a fraud can report it anonymously by calling the toll‑free hotline at 1‑877‑55‑FRAUD, or visiting the Web site at www.NJInsurancefraud.org. State regulations permit a reward to be paid to an eligible person who provides information that leads to an arrest, prosecution and conviction for insurance fraud