Health-care scammer sentenced

GLENDALE— A Glendale man was sentenced Monday to five years in state prison for running a health-care fraud and money laundering scheme that affected more than 800 Medicare patients in the Los Angeles region, officials said.

U.S. District Judge Margaret Morrow ordered Manuk Karapetyan, 46, to serve five years in prison after being convicted in March of multiple counts of health-care fraud and money laundering, officials said.

"It was a serious offense that had a number of aggravating circumstances," Assistant U.S. Atty. Steven Arkow said.

Once Karapetyan is released from prison, he will be placed on supervised probation and must pay $50,505 in restitution, FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said.

He used the identities of four physicians to submit about 6,000 insurance claims for those patients, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Karapetyan also billed Medicare for more than $3.2 million in a month, but most of the payments were canceled, officials said.

Still, he was able to deposit more than $50,000 in two bank accounts, transferring money to himself and associates in Armenia, officials said.

He was arrested in April following an investigation that began in 2004. At that time, patients received bills from Medicare summarizing the fraudulent services that Karapetyan had billed.

When patients told their doctors and Medicare officials that they had never received the billed medical services, an investigation was started.

"It was a sham clinic," Arkow said.

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