ABINGDON, Va. – A Miami, Florida man was sentenced last week to five months in prison and five months of home confinement for conspiring with another man to pay and receive kickbacks. In addition to home confinement, he will pay $66,000 in monetary penalties and will be permanently excluded from participating in federal healthcare programs.
According to court documents, Michael Olshavsky, conspired to receive and pay kickbacks to encourage urine drug screen testing performed by a lab in Florida. Some of the testing referred to the lab was paid for by Medicare, Virginia Medicaid, and TennCare. Co-conspirator John Linke was sentenced last week to three months home confinement.
“Using an opioid treatment practice to defraud federal and state health care programs is unconscionable and a serious federal crime,” Acting U.S. Attorney Daniel P. Bubar said today. “Investigating and prosecuting those who seek to commit health care fraud and illegally profit from the opioid crisis remains a top priority of this office. I appreciate the great work and assistance from our many state and federal partners, whose hard work brought Olshavsky to justice.”
“Healthcare providers who defraud the system are not only stealing from Medicaid and Medicare, but they are also stealing from taxpayers,” said Attorney General Mark Herring. “Virginians should be able to trust their healthcare providers to make decisions in a patient’s best interest, without any kind of outside influence or monetary gain. I want to thank my Medicaid Fraud Control Unit for their hard work on this case, as well as our local, state, and federal partners who continue to help my team hold individuals accountable when they defraud our healthcare system.”
“Those who seek to profit from the opioid crisis through illegal schemes make the problem worse,” said Special Agent in Charge Mark S. McCormack, FDA Office of Criminal Investigations Metro Washington Field Office. “We will continue to investigate and bring to justice those who, through their dishonesty, jeopardize the public health.”
Between November 30, 2015, and May 30, 2016, Linke was employed at an office-based opioid treatment program that used medication-assisted treatment for patients suffering from substance use disorder. In exchange for being paid $5,000 per month, Linke arranged for the clinic to send urine drug screen samples to the laboratory in Florida where Olshavasky worked. These payments were disguised as commissions paid to Linke as an “independent sales representative” for Olshavsky’s company, Encore Holdings LLC. Olshavasky paid Linke at least $16,000 through Encore Holdings to direct WRC’s drug screening business to the Florida lab, although Linke was not actually an independent sales representative for Encore, and he did not act as such.
The Virginia Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Food and Drug Administration Office of Criminal Investigations, the Department of Health and Human Services—Office of Inspector General, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, and the Virginia State Police investigated the case.
Special Assistant United States Attorney Janine M. Myatt and Assistant United States Attorneys Randy Ramseyer and Whit Pierce prosecuted the case for the United States.
USAO - Virginia, Western;
Department of Health and Human Services OIG