A Brighton Beach couple living in the ritzy Oceana condo development has been arrested for illegally collecting thousands of dollars in Medicaid benefits by claiming to be poor. The wife said on application forms that she was single, and the man who is really her husband, a doctor with a practice in Sheepshead Bay, was just a friend who could attest to her poverty.
The following is a press release from the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office:
Brooklyn, December 1, 2011—Kings County District Attorney Charles J. Hynes and New York City Human Resource Commissioner Robert Doar today announced the indictment of a Brooklyn doctor and his wife on charges they falsified Medicaid applications so the wife could illegally qualify for Medicaid health coverage.
“New York taxpayers fund Medicaid to help low-income families get necessary medical treatments, not to provide health insurance to wealthy individuals who would rather not pay for their own coverage,” said District Attorney Hynes. “I would like to thank Commissioner Doar and HRA for their help in this investigation and in our ongoing effort to stem the abuse of important programs like Medicaid.”
“Let this be a warning: Lying in order to receive Medicaid is a theft of taxpayer dollars and those who engage in this behavior will be investigated and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” said Commissioner Doar. “I want to thank District Attorney Hynes and his team for their continual commitment to work with our Agency to ensure the integrity of our public assistance programs.”
The case originated with information from the Office of Medicaid Inspector General who passed it on to HRA which began an investigation.
The indictment charges that in October 2008 Oksana Shulim, 44, claimed, on a Medicaid application, to have no income and that she was supported by Pavel Kulik, 44, whom she identified as a “friend”, not her husband. On accompanying paperwork, Kulik asserted that he was Shulim’s “friend” and that he paid for her housing and meals but did not provide her with health insurance, according to the indictment. The indictment charges that since 2008, Medicaid paid out more than $8,500 in claims, to treat Shulim.
The truth is that Kulik and Shulim have been married since 1998; have two children, ages five and 11; live in a penthouse apartment in a gated community in Brighton Beach; and have a joint savings account with a balance of more than $450,000, according to the indictment. Kulik is a doctor of internal medicine, with a practice in Sheepshead Bay. Since 2009, Medicaid has paid Kulik’s practice more than $1 million for treatments he provided to Medicaid recipients.
The defendants are charged with Welfare Fraud in the Third Degree, Welfare Fraud in the Fourth Degree, Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree and Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree. If convicted they face up to seven years in prison.
Additionally, if he is convicted, Kulik could be removed from the Medicaid program and could also lose his license to practice medicine.
The defendants were arraigned on November 30, 2011, before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Suzanne Mondo, and released on their own recognizance. The next scheduled court date is December 20.
An indictment is an accusatory instrument and not proof of a defendant’s guilt.