LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - By Jeff Awtrey - email
LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - A Lufkin physician has pleaded guilty to charges of health care fraud violations in the Eastern District of Texas.
Dr. Alexander Orlov, D.O., 46, of Lufkin, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud Medicare and Medicaid today before U.S. District Judge Ron Clark.
According to information presented in court, from Nov. 2008 to Apr. 2010, Orlov, a physician and the owner of a Lufkin medical practice and urgent care clinic, and an employee, Haseeb Rehman, submitted claims for physicians' services to Medicare and Medicaid for services provided by Rehman who was not a licensed medical professional. Orlov controlled and operated Lufkin Urgent Care, P.A. He employed Rehman to run Lufkin Urgent Care. Rehman treated patients, prescribed medication, performed minor surgical procedures, and operated within Lufkin Urgent Care as if he were a licensed medical professional. Claims were submitted to Medicare and Medicaid for Rehman's services representing that the services were provided by a physician. As a result of these claims, Orlov unlawfully obtained more than $725,000 from Medicare and Medicaid. Orlov was indicted by a federal grand jury on June 3, 2010 and charged with conspiracy to defraud Medicare and Medicaid.
U.S. Attorney John Malcolm Bales said in a telephone interview Monday afternoon that in exchange for Orlov pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud, the U.S. Attorney's Office would drop the charges of wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. As a part of the plea agreement, Orlov will likely face between 30 and 37 months, which is up to a federal judge, Bales said.
"Sorry that it worked out this way for him, but with the way he was doing business, it was inappropriate and actually illegal," Bales said. "He was popular at the expense of others."
Bales said Orlov also agreed to pay $518,000 in fines and restitution. The fate of his medial license is left up to the state medical board.
Bales said Rehman's case will also be resolved, following a pre-trial diversion, which works much like a probated sentence in state court. He said following that diversion, the charge against Rehman will be dismissed.
"He was the less culpable party," Bales said. "He knew he was forging signatures, but he was not the one coding them for payment from Medicare and Medicaid."