Daniel Horowitz – Criminal Defense Specialist

(925) 283-1863


Increasingly the federal government is targeting physicians for participating in the fraudulent prescription of Durable Medical Equipment. A physician may be contacted by a trusted locum tenens company and offered a part time position reviewing medical records online. For young MD’s the work is easy, fits their schedule and seems natural as they are from a computer generation. The results can be devastating.

Prosecution for DME Fraud

In December of 2022 the owner of a Durable Medical Equipment Company was arrested as part of an (alleged) $ 17 Million Kickback Conspiracy. The person arrested (Alexandra Stchastlivtseva), owned several durable medical equipment (DME) companies. The government claims that Stchastlivtseva paid kickbacks and bribes to several telemedicine companies and marketing companies.

How the DME Frauds Work

The profit is made by the DME supplier. The supplier hires marketing entities to contact the Locum Tenens company and hire doctors to write prescriptions. The Locum Tenens company connects the MD with the marketing / telemedicine company so there is an air of legitimacy granted to these fly by night operations.

Patient charts are created and sent to the doctor for a quick review. The charts almost always justify a prescription. Sometimes the same file is sent to multiple doctors.

The files are often obtained by the marketing companies that give seminars at senior centers and other places where they can manipulate and exploit these poterntial patients. A free meal and a bit of fun in exchange for filling out a form is the exchange. The marketing company needs a name, DOB and Medicare number. Then they create a file and ship it to the doctor. – electronically.

In the Stchastlivtseva case Medicare paid more than $17.3 million and since at least part of the money was reinvested in the scheme, Stchastlivtseva and others were charged with money laundering. The potential criminal sentence is in excess of 20 years in prison.

The elderly may see strange devices and equipment on their Medicare Summary Notice (MSN) or Explanation of Benefits (EOB). Equipment that was never ordered may show up at their front door. The marketing entities are usually untouchable as they are fly by night and often overseas. The equipment suppliers and the prescription writing doctors are most commonly arrested.

If you are a physician who innocently was drawn into a DME scheme contact our office without delay. We can help.
Call (925) 283-1863 or click on the “Bear” below for our contact form.

State bar specialist with link to horowitz contact form.