BROOKLYN, New York - Doctors, nurses and a former New York state assemblyman were among 13 people charged in a Brooklyn pill mill bust Friday morning.
Authorities say three clinics in Brooklyn operated as pill mills, illegally prescribing $6 million in opioids. In many cases, the clinics allegedly received bribes for the prescriptions.
Physicians Lazar Feygin, Paul McClung and office managers Konstantin Zeva, Rachek Smolitsky and Vyacheslav Maksakov are charged with running the three clinics that allegedly defrauded Medicaid and Medicare by billing for millions of dollars in unnecessary medical tests.
To influence patients to take the tests, Feyygin, McClung, and other medical practitioners are accused of illegally providing prescriptions of oxycodone for no legitimate medical purposes.
Prosecutors say that in an October 2016 phone call, Zeva informed Feygin that a patient in a wheelchair was complaining about a broken elevator at one of the clinics. Feygin reportedly replied, "If he is given his freaking oxycodone, then excuse me, he should kiss your [expletive] instead of complaining."
Officials say the unnecessary medical tests were billed to Medicaid and Medicare.
Feygin was allegedly the ring leader of the schemes, living a lavish lifestyle that included extensive real estate holdings, frequent trips overseas and regular purchase of expensive goods.
Members of the charged conspiracy also allegedly engaged in laundering money to conceal illicit proceeds.
The former assemblyman is Alec Brook-Krasny, who resigned from his seat in July of 2015 to become chief operating officer of Quality Labor Services. The company has a medical lab in Sheepshead Bay. He was the first Russian-born member of state legislature.
The charges are a result of a long-term investigation which began in 2013.
The investigation, dubbed "Operation Avalanche" revealed the three clinics gained reputations around New York City as locations where oxycodone prescriptions were relatively easy to obtain.
Authorities say the clinics continued to provide prescriptions to patients even when there was evidence they were likely selling pills or abusing other narcotic drugs.
The suspects are identified as:
Lazar Feygin - Staten Island, NY
Konstantin Zeva - Brooklyn, NY
Rachel Smolitsky - Stamford, CT
Michael Taitt - New York, New York
Marie Nazaire - Melville, NY
Marjorie Louis-Jacques - Brooklyn, NY
Reynat Glaz - Valley Stream, NY
Alec Brook-Krasny - Brooklyn, NY
Juan Cabezas - Queens, NY
Paul McClung - Valley Stream, NY
Vyacheslav Maksakov, aka "Steve" - Princeton, NJ
Pavel Krasnou - Staten Island, NY
Abdus Sattar - Queens, NY