Clinic owner, doctor, lawyer charged in $1 million insurance scam

The trio and their co-conspirators allegedly bilked no-fault insurance carriers with an illegal clinic

Clinic owner, doctor, lawyer charged in $1 million insurance scam

Insurance News

By Ryan Smith

A clinic owner, a doctor and an attorney are among those charged in connection with a $1 million insurance scam, New York Attorney General Barbara D. Underwood has announced.

David Safir, 48; Dr. Alexander Haselkorn, 78; Roberta Haselkorn, 61; attorney Nadezdha Ursulova, 63; and Theron Grinage, a.k.a. Timothy Russel, 52, have been charged, in a 61-count indictment, with participating in an auto insurance scam that bilked no-fault insurance carriers.

A joint investigation by the attorney general’s Auto Insurance Fraud unit and the New York City Department of Investigation, code-named “Dr. Know,” found that Safir and his co-conspirators allegedly encouraged patients at Safir’s Brooklyn clinic, Jamaica Wellness, to fabricate and exaggerate injuries. The patients were encouraged to submit fraudulent claims to insurance carriers for treatment provided and prescribed by unlicensed individuals, the attorney general said.

“As we allege, the defendants illegally operated a medical clinic and took advantage of car-accident victims in order to line their own pockets,” Underwood said. “We have zero tolerance for those who try to scam New Yorkers and take advantage of our insurance and healthcare systems – and my office will continue to prosecute those who break the law.”

“This investigation exposes how one scheme resulted in a spectrum of fraudulent conduct, including money laundering, grand larceny and the unauthorized practice of medicine, according to the charges,” said Mark G. Peters, commissioner of the New York City Department of Investigations.

In New York State, a person injured in an auto accident is automatically covered by the Comprehensive Motor Vehicle Insurance Reparations Act, commonly referred to as the “no-fault” law. The medical expenses of a person injured in an auto accident are covered up to a total of $50,000. Under state law, only a medical clinic owned and controlled by a licensed medical professional can bill for no-fault reimbursement.

According to the indictment, between July 2016 and July 2017, Safir – who is not a licensed physician – owned and controlled Jamaica Wellness and directed treatment protocol for auto-accident victims. He allegedly encouraged accident victims to exaggerate or fabricate injuries, and employed runners to solicit customers for the clinic. Ursulova, an attorney, allegedly helped Safir illegally incorporate Jamaica Wellness by engaging in a sham ownership transfer from one doctor to another. Dr. Alexander Haselkorn was an owner of the clinic in name only and did not actually treat patients, prosecutors allege. Patients were instead allegedly diagnosed and referred for thousands of dollars in treatment by his wife, Roberta – who was not a licensed medical provider.

Safir and his co-conspirators allegedly bilked insurers for more than $1 million through the scam.


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