15 SoCal Chiropractors Charged in $6M Kickback Scheme

More than a dozen Southern California chiropractors have been charged in a $6 million scheme to illegally collect insurance money through kickbacks, prosecutors said Friday.

The alleged mastermind behind the scam, Yury Chernega, 47, of Studio City, offered to refer new patients to other chiropractors in exchange for an illegal referral fee beginning in 2015, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said in a news release.

Chernega is facing four counts each of insurance fraud, failure to file income tax return and participating in patient referral rebates when licensed as a chiropractor, as well as one count of money laundering.

He’s accused of profiting more than $500,000 off 30 insurance firms using fraud and embezzlement. Ultimately, Chernega was able to rake in about $6 million from the scheme, officials said.

The felony complaint includes 18 total counts, with each of the 15 defendants charged with insurance fraud and participating in patient referral rebates when licensed as a medical professional.

The chiropractors are also accused of filing bogus insurance claims for medical services they didn’t provide, to patients allegedly injured in car crashes.

Chernega’s alleged co-conspirators are, according to the DA’s office:
• Michael Milman, 53, of Beverly Hills. He’s being held on $200,000 bail and could face up to 10 years and six months in prison.
• John Sherf, 43, of Sherman Oaks. He’s being held on $200,000 bail and could face up to 18 years and six months in prison.
• Jae Ho Park, 51, of Coto de Caza. He’s being held on $225,000 bail and could face up to 11 years and six months in prison.
• Danush Haghani, 46, of Yorba Linda. He’s being held on $225,000 bail and could face up to 11 years and six months in prison.
• Kamron Nourgostar, 35, of Irvine. He’s being held on $200,000 bail and could face up to 10 years and six months in prison.
• David Wayne Ginoza, 54, of Torrance. He’s being held on $200,000 bail and could face up to 10 years and six months in prison.
• Alan P. Grubstein, 69, of Rancho Cucamonga. He’s being held on $225,000 bail and could face up to 11 years and six months in prison.
• Kamiar Riahi, 44, of Woodland Hills. He’s being held on $200,000 bail and could face up to 10 years and six months in prison.
• Sam Amirmoazzami, 45, of Encino. He’s being held on $225,000 bail and could face up to 11 years and six months in prison.
• Robin Stacy Long, 50, of Newhall. She’s being held on $200,000 bail and could face up to 10 years and six months in prison.
• Ramin Lavi, 55, of Chatsworth. He’s being held on $225,000 bail and could face up to 11 years and six months in prison.
• Gustavo Adolfo Nino, 55, of Pasadena. He’s being held on $200,000 bail and could face up to 10 years and six months in prison.
• Nahid Haji Acs, 62, of Rancho Cucamonga. He’s being held on $200,000 bail and could face up to 10 years and six months in prison.
• Victoria Davidovsky Lucas, 50, of Pacific Palisades. She’s being held on $200,000 bail and could face up to 10 years and six months in prison.

Most of the defendants were arrested in a sweep Thursday and are expected to be arraigned Monday, May 6. Chernega’s arraignment is scheduled for Friday afternoon, prosecutors said.

The alleged ringleader could face up to 18 years and nine months in state prison if convicted as charged. He was being held on $325,000 bail.

The case was filed on April 26 but first made public on Friday.

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