5 arrested for $15M Medicare fraud, money laundering scheme 

Five people were arrested in Los Angeles for their involvement in a scheme to defraud Medicare of more than $15 million through sham hospice companies.

Petros Fichidzhyan, 43, Juan Carlos Esparza, 32, and Karpis Srapyan, 34, allegedly operated and owned sham hospice companies that were purportedly owned by foreign nationals, the Justice Department said June 7. 

The three used the foreign nationals’ identifying information to open bank accounts and sign property leases. Mr. Fichidzhyan also used the information to make phone calls to Medicare and submit false claims. 

The false claims misappropriated physician information by falsely claiming the physicians had determined hospice services were necessary.

The three, alongside defendants Susanna Harutyunyan, 38, and Mihran Panosyan, 45, also allegedly laundered the proceeds fraudulently obtained from Medicare. 

If convicted, all five defendants face a maximum penalty of at least 40 years in prison.

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