Federal prosecutors have charged 13 people—including a New York City police officer, an attorney and four physicians—in two indictments that allege they schemed to defraud auto insurers out of $100 million by bribing 911 operators and others for access motor vehicle accident records so they could steer patients to corrupt doctors.
Damian Williams, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced the criminal charges on Wednesday. He said it is the one of the largest no-fault insurance fraud takedowns in history, one that his office started investigating in 2017.
“In carrying out their massive scheme, among other methods, they allegedly bribed 911 operators, hospital employees, and others for confidential motor vehicle accident victim information,” Williams said in a statement. “With this information, they then endangered victims by subjecting them to unnecessary and often painful medical procedures, in order to fraudulently overbill insurance companies.”
Prosecutors say a fraud ring headed by Bradley Pierre took $70 million from no-fault insurers in a scam dating back to 2008. Pierre allegedly spearheaded the scheme out of the law office of an unidentified family member who paid $4 million for accident-victim referrals.
The indictment says Pierre controlled five “no-fault facilities” that were ostensibly owned by licensed physicians.
A Linkedin page in the name of Bradley Pierre says he is owner of Medical Reimbursement Consultants Inc. in New York. A business in that name was first registered in Nassau County in 2008, which is when prosecutors say the fraud scheme began.
Pierre installed closed-circuit television cameras in his office, which he used to communicate with Drs. Marvin Moy and William Weiner, the indictment says.
Moy is a doctor licensed by New Jersey who practices in New York City, according to state records. He allegedly conducted “unnecessary and painful” electrodiagnostic testing on patients.
Weiner is a doctor of osteopathic medicine licensed by New York who practices in East Rockaway. He falsified findings of injuries in magnetic-resonance imaging scans to boost patient referrals, according to the indictment.
Arthur Bogoraz, a paralegal and manager at a separate personal injury law firm in New York City and Andrew Prime, described as a “runner,” paid bribes to 911 operators for patient and client referrals to the law firms and the Pierre clinics, the indictment alleges.
The second indictment accuses Alexander Gulkarov, also known as “Little Alex,” of fraudulently owning and controlling more than a dozen medical professional organizations. The scheme allegedly took $30 million from insurers since 2014.
Attorney Robert Wisnicki, the founding partner of two New York-based law firms, is accused of laundering part of the proceeds of Gulkarov’s scheme. He concealed money transfers by fabricating retainer agreements, lied to law enforcement and committed perjury before a federal grand jury, the indictment alleges.
Roman Israilov, Peter Khaimov, and Anthony DiPietro are accused of working with Gulkarov to operate the fraud scheme. They allegedly bribed 911 operators, hospital workers and others for motor vehicle accident victim information. Runners contacted the victims and lied to persuade them to seek treatment at clinics that Gukarov and his partners controlled, the indictment says.
New York City Police Officer Albert Aronov is accused of logging into NYPD computers during off hours to search for confidential accident reports. He took photos of the records and used a pre-paid “burner” phone to transmit them using an encrypted messaging application, the indictment says.
Drs. Rolando Chumaceiro and Marcelo Quiroga are named as co-conspirators in the indictment. They allegedly prescribed unnecessary and excessive medical treatments and overbilled insurance carriers.
Dr. Rolando Jose Mendez Chumaceiro was licensed in 1993 and practices in Yonkers, according to state Department of Professional Regulation records available online. Dr. Francisco Gracia Quiroga provided an address in Tucson, Ariz. and is not registered to practice in New York.
“Schemes exploiting no-fault insurance laws – which ironically exist to make insurance more affordable – also result in higher costs, and unfairly burden all consumers in the auto insurance market,” Williams said.
The indictments likely come no surprise to some insurers. A group of carriers led by Liberty Mutual sued Bradley and others in 2014 and reached a settlement in 2016, court records show. Allstate sued Pierre, Moy and others in 2015 and reached a settlement in 2017. USAA filed a lawsuit Pierre, Moy and others in 2018 and dismissed the case in 2020.
Gulkarov, Chumaceiro and Quiroga were named as defendants in a May 2020 lawsuit filed by GEICO. Gulkarov, Khaimov and Israilov are defendants in a second GEICO lawsuit filed earlier this month that also names several acupuncture and chiropractic clinics as defendants.
William’s office said 10 of the alleged conspirators were arrested in New York and New Jersey on Wednesday, while Gulkarov was arrested in Miami.
Pierre was released after posting $1 million bond. He pledged a house he owns in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey; a condominium owned by his father-in-law and mother-in-law in Cliffside Park, New Jersey; and a condo owned by his sister-in-law in Ft. Lee New Jersey as collateral, court records show.