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Man sentenced in $1.5M health care fraud

Armenian national to face deportation after serving 5 years in federal prison

BRUNSWICK, Ga. – Sahak Tumanyan, 42, was sentenced Wednesday to 5 years in prison for his role in a health care fraud and money laundering conspiracy in which more than $1.5 million was stolen from Medicare through a phony medical business in Brunswick.

"The defendant's cohorts stole over $1 million of taxpayer dollars from Medicare. Then, the defendant helped launder the ill-gotten gains through an intricate series of phony businesses," said United States Attorney Edward Tarver. "Our team of federal prosecutors, agents and auditors will follow the trails of stolen money so that organized criminals such as these will be held accountable for their fraudulent schemes."

In addition to a 5-year prison sentence, Chief United States District Court Judge Lisa Godbey Wood ordered Tumanyan to pay restitution to Medicare in the amount of $308,963, and to serve 3 years of supervised release. After Tumanyan finishes serving his prison sentence, he will face deportation proceedings.

Tumanyan, who was in the United States on an expired visa from Armenia and who liven in Los Angeles until the time of his arrest in this case, previously pleaded guilty to a money laundering conspiracy charge.

According to the evidence presented at the guilty plea and sentencing hearings, Brunswick Medical Supply was a fraudulent medical equipment provider that was opened in Brunswick in 2007.  Prosecutors say associates of Tumanyan fraudulently obtained a Medicare provider number for this phony businesses, stole the identities of hundreds of Medicare beneficiaries, stole the identities of dozens of doctors, and used this stolen information to submit millions of dollars in phony claims for health care services that were never provided.

Medicare paid about $1.5 million for these fraudulent claims before Brunswick Medical Supply was shut down. Tumanyan then took numerous steps to launder the money stolen from Medicare. Tumanyan opened at least four sham businesses in Los Angeles; opened multiple bank accounts in the names of these businesses; and, used these bank accounts to launder the proceeds of the fraud at Brunswick Medical Supply. The evidence also showed that Tumanyan helped launder hundreds of thousands of dollars of other money stolen through various schemes to defraud, such as identity theft, check kiting and other health care fraud schemes.

The prosecution of Tumanyan was part of a multi-jurisdictional investigation involving more than $100 million worth of phony claims submitted to Medicare. More than 35 defendants were charged as part of this investigation in Brunswick, Georgia, New York, Los Angeles, Cleveland and Albuquerque.