LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - He scammed the government, now he's about to pay for it. Dr. Alexander Orlov, D.O., 47, is set to spend more than a year in federal prison for health care fraud violations.
In November, he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud Medicare and Medicaid.
"This is a difficult climate to work in from a regulation standpoint," said Sidney C. Roberts, M.D., Medical Director of the Arthur Temple Sr. Regional Cancer Center. "There are a lot of ways that well-meaning, well-intentioned physicians can step across the line, if you will, unknowingly. This was not that type of a case."
Roberts said Orlov's crimes are no reflection on the local medical community.
"There are regulatory bodies out there, there are authorities that are looking over what we do and if we are committing fraud, we're going to get caught," said Roberts.
Orlov got caught submitting claims for physicians' services to Medicare and Medicaid that were actually provided by an employee, Haseeb Rehman, not a licensed medical professional.
Rehman was put on pre-trial diversion to pay restitution. If he completes the order, his case will be dismissed.
Meanwhile, the Texas Medical Board hasn't taken any disciplinary action against Orlov yet. However, according to Leigh Hopper, a spokesperson for the board, "That could change soon because board rules mandate that the board suspend or revoke someone who has been convicted of a felony, especially one related to the practice of medicine."
A KTRE crew went by Orlov's offices in Lufkin to see if they were going to stay open, but both doors were locked. A sign on the door said "No Urgent Care patients today." A call to Orlov's offices also went unreturned.
"To his current patients, I would suggest you've had many months at this point to seek alternative care and I think that if you haven't been working on that, you certainly need to do so now," said Roberts.
In August, Orlov will begin serving his federal prison sentence.
The Texas Medical Board said their next board meeting is at the end of August, however they could take action regarding Orlov's medical license sooner.
Orlov was also ordered to pay more than $300,000 in restitution.