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Date: 08-21-2019

Case Style:

United States of America v. Aleksandr Suris and Maxim Sverdlov

Case Number: 2:17-cr-00420-SJO

Judge: S. James Otero

Court: United States District Court for the Central District of California (Los Angeles County)

Plaintiff's Attorney: Robyn N. Pullio and Daniel Griffin

Defendant's Attorney:


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Description:




Los Angeles, CA - Two Los Angeles Pharmacy Owners Found Guilty in Multimillion-Dollar Health Care Fraud and Money Laundering Scheme

A federal jury found two Los Angeles pharmacy owners guilty for their participation in a $35 million health care fraud and money laundering scheme to bill Medicare for medications that were never provided and to launder the proceeds of the fraud.

After an 11-day trial, Aleksandr Suris, 51, and Maxim Sverdlov, 44, both of Sherman Oaks, California, were found guilty of one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. Suris was also found guilty of one additional count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and six additional counts of health care fraud. Both defendants were found not guilty of three counts of healthcare fraud. Sentencing has been scheduled for Nov. 18, 2019, before U.S. District Court Judge S. James Otero of the Central District of California, who presided over the trial.

According to the evidence presented at trial, from 2012 to 2015, Suris and Sverdlov fraudulently billed Medicare and CIGNA for prescription medications that were not actually dispensed to beneficiaries by the pharmacy they owned, Royal Care Pharmacy (Royal Care). In order to hide the fraud, Suris and Sverdlov obtained fake invoices from a co-conspirator to make it appear as if Royal Care had purchased the medicines it had billed Medicare for when it had not. The evidence further established that Suris and Sverdlov also used these fake invoices to launder the proceeds of the fraud through the co-conspirator.

This case was investigated by the HHS-OIG, FBI, IRS-CI, and the California Department of Justice, and was brought as part of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, under the supervision of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California. Assistant Chief Daniel J. Griffin and Trial Attorney Robyn N. Pullio of the Fraud Section are prosecuting the case.

The Fraud Section leads the Medicare Fraud Strike Force. Since its inception in March 2007, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, which maintains 14 strike forces operating in 23 districts, has charged nearly 4,000 defendants who have collectively billed the Medicare program for more than $14 billion. In addition, the HHS Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, working in conjunction with the HHS-OIG, are taking steps to increase accountability and decrease the presence of fraudulent providers.


Charges:


Aleksandr Suris


18:1349: CONSPIRACY TO COMMIT HEALTH CARE FRAUD
(1)
18:1349 CONSPIRACY TO COMMIT HEALTH CARE FRAUD
(1s)
18:1347:HEALTH CARE FRAUD
(2-5)
18:1349: CONSPIRACY TO COMMIT Health Care FRAUD
(6)
18:1349 CONSPIRACY TO COMMIT HEALTH CARE FRAUD
(6s)
18:1347,2(b):HEALTH CARE FRAUD, Causing an Act to be Done
(7-12)
18:1347, 2(b) HEALTH CARE FRAUD
(7s-12s)
18:1956 (h) CONSPIRACY TO COMMIT MONEY LAUNDERING
(13s)


Maxim Sverdlov


18:1349: CONSPIRACY TO COMMIT HEALTH CARE FRAUD
(1)
18:1349 CONSPIRACY TO COMMIT HEALTH CARE FRAUD
(1s)
18:1347,2(b):HEALTH CARE FRAUD,Causing an Act to be Done
(2-5)
18:1956 (h) CONSPIRACY TO COMMIT MONEY LAUNDERING
(13s)
Date Filed # Docket Text
08/11/2019 145 NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION to Sever Counts as to Defendant Aleksandr Suris (1) Count 6,6s,7-12,7s-12s Filed by Defendant Aleksandr Suris. (Steingard, Richard) (Entered: 08/11/2019)
08/12/2019 146 OPPOSITION to NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION to Sever Counts as to Defendant Aleksandr Suris (1) Count 6,6s,7-12,7s-12s 145 filed by Plaintiff USA as to Defendant Aleksandr Suris. (Pullio, Robyn) (Entered: 08/12/2019)
08/12/2019 148 MINUTES OF Jury Trial - 5th Day held before Judge S. James Otero as to Defendants Aleksandr Suris, Maxim Sverdlov. Witnesses called, sworn and testified. Exhibits identified and admitted. Case continued to 8/13/2019 08:30 AM for further trial. Court Reporter: Miranda Algorri. (lom) (Entered: 08/13/2019)
08/13/2019 149 MINUTES OF Jury Trial - 6th Day held before Judge S. James Otero as to Defendants Aleksandr Suris, Maxim Sverdlov. Witnesses called, sworn and testified. Exhibits identified and admitted. Case continued to 8/14/2019, at 8:30 a.m.for further trial. Court Reporter: Miranda Algorri & Terri Hourigan. (lom) (Entered: 08/14/2019)
08/14/2019 150 MINUTES OF Jury Trial - 7th Day held before Judge S. James Otero : As to Defendant Aleksandr Suris, Maxim Sverdlov: Witnesses called, sworn and testified. Exhibits identified and admitted. Motion for judgment of acquittal (FRCrP 29)- submitted. The Court reserves oral argument on defendants' Rule 29 motion to be heard at later time. Jury Trial continued to 8/15/2019 08:30 AM. Court Reporter: Miranda Algorri and Teri Hourigan. (lc) (Entered: 08/15/2019)
08/15/2019 151 MINUTES OF Jury Trial - 8th Day held before Judge S. James Otero as to Defendant Aleksandr Suris, Maxim Sverdlov: Witnesses called, sworn and testified. Exhibits identified and admitted. Motion to Sever Counts (ECF no. 145 is Denied. Jury Trial continued to 8/16/2019 08:15 AM. Court Reporter: Miranda Algorri and Terri Hourigan. (lc) (Entered: 08/16/2019)
08/16/2019 152 MINUTES OF Jury Trial - 9th Day held before Judge S. James Otero as to Defendant Aleksandr Suris, Maxim Sverdlov: Witnesses called, sworn and testified. Exhibits identified and admitted. Defendants Aleksandr Suris and Maxim Sverdlov Rests. Motion for judgment of acquittal (FRCrP 29) Denied. Clerk reviewed admitted exhibits with counsel to be submitted to the Jury/Court for deliberations/findings. Jury Trial continued to 8/19/2019 12:30 PM. Court Reporter: Miranda Algorri and Myra L Ponce. (lc) (Entered: 08/16/2019)
08/18/2019 153 OBJECTION filed by Defendant Aleksandr Suris to Government's Claimed Rebuttal Exhibits (Attachments: # 1 Declaration of Richard M. Steingard, # 2 Exhibit A, # 3 Exhibit B, # 4 Exhibit C, # 5 Exhibit D)(Steingard, Richard) (Entered: 08/18/2019)
08/19/2019 154 RESPONSE IN OPPOSITION to Objections (non-motion) 153 , filed by Plaintiff USA as to Defendant Aleksandr Suris Government's Opposition to Defendant Suris' Objection to the Government's Rebuttal Case Exhibits and Motion to Preclude the Government's Rebuttal Case Evidence (Pullio, Robyn) (Entered: 08/19/2019)
08/19/2019 157 MINUTES OF Jury Trial - 10th Day held before Judge S. James Otero as to Defendant Aleksandr Suris, Maxim Sverdlov: Exhibits identified and admitted. Partial closing arguments made by government and Sverdlov, remainder continued to 08/20/19. The Court sustains Defendants objection to government rebuttal. Court and confer regarding jury instructions. Court instructs jury. Jury Trial continued to 8/20/2019 09:00 AM. Court Reporter: Miranda Algorri ; Terri Hourigan. (lc) (Entered: 08/20/2019)
08/20/2019 158 MINUTES OF Jury Trial - 11th Day held before Judge S. James Otero as to Defendant Aleksandr Suris, Maxim Sverdlov. Exhibits identified and admitted. Closing arguments made. Jury polled. Verdict reached. Jury finds: Aleksandr Suris (1) Guilty on Count 1s,2s-4s,6s,7s-12s,13s and Maxim Sverdlov (2) Guilty on Count 1s,2s-4s,13sAleksandr Suris (1) Not Guilty on Count 2s-4s and Maxim Sverdlov (2) Not Guilty on Count 2s-4s. Defendant referred to Probation Office for Investigation and Report. Sentencing set for 11/18/2019 10:00 AM. The Court orders that all exhibits admitted at trial shall be maintained in the custody of government counsel pending appeal. The parties stipulate and the Court order the following additional bond conditions pending sentencing: In re Defendant Suris there is presently a $250,000 bond which is secured with a full deeding of the property against 4026 Benedict Canyon Drive in Sherman Oaks California. The parties stipulate that on this particular property that there will be an additional $250,000 secured against this property for a total of five $500,000.In addition, the parties agree that there will be a $1 million secured bond, with a full deeding of the property, against the location owned by Defendant Suris at 3944 Lake Drive, Big Bear, California. Defendant Suris also agrees to electronic monitoring. In re Defendant Sverdlov currently there is a $250,000 bond secured against his property at 3918 Owning Field Drive, Sherman Oaks,California. The parties agree that there will be an additional $1,250,000 bond against this property for a total of $1.5 million. Defendant Sverdlov also agrees to electronic monitoring. The Court orders the defendants to report to Pretrial Service/Probation by first thing tomorrow morning, August 21, 2019 for electronic monitoring. Travel for defendants is restricted to the County of Los Angeles. Defendants shall not enter any airport. The Court orders the defendants to stop billing Medicare by Friday, September 20, 2019. Court Reporter: Terri Hourigan. (lc) (Entered: 08/21/2019)
08/20/2019 159 REDACTED Jury Note (Number: 1) as to Aleksandr Suris, Maxim Sverdlov (lc) (Entered: 08/21/2019)
08/20/2019 160 SEALED UNREDACTED Jury Note 1 as to Defendant Aleksandr Suris, Maxim Sverdlov re: Jury Notes 1 159 (lc) (Entered: 08/21/2019)
08/20/2019 161 REDACTED Jury Note (Number: 2) as to Aleksandr Suris, Maxim Sverdlov (lc) (Entered: 08/21/2019)
08/20/2019 162 SEALED UNREDACTED Jury Note 2 filed by Defendant Aleksandr Suris, Maxim Sverdlov re: Jury Notes 2 161 (lc) (Entered: 08/21/2019)
08/20/2019 163 Jury Instructions (Given) by Judge S. James Otero as to Defendant Aleksandr Suris, Maxim Sverdlov, (lc) (Entered: 08/21/2019)
08/20/2019 164 TRIAL EXHIBIT LIST as to Defendant Aleksandr Suris, Maxim Sverdlov filed (lc) (Entered: 08/21/2019)
08/20/2019 165 TRIAL WITNESS LIST as to Defendant Aleksandr Suris, Maxim Sverdlov filed (lc) (Entered: 08/21/2019)

Outcome: 08/20/2019 166 REDACTED JURY VERDICT as to Defendant Aleksandr Suris, Maxim Sverdlov FILED (lc) Modified on 8/21/2019 (lc). (Entered: 08/21/2019)
08/20/2019 167 SEALED UNREDACTED JURY VERDICT as to Defendant Aleksandr Suris, Maxim Sverdlov filed re: Jury Verdict 166 (lc) Modified on 8/21/2019 (lc). (Entered: 08/21/2019)

Plaintiff's Experts:

Defendant's Experts:

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