After Two Years On The Lam, Medicare Fraud Suspect Finally Caught

Irina Shelikhova was arrested at John F. Kennedy Airport after two years of hiding out in the Ukraine. She was the last fugitive wanted in the biggest Medicare fraud case ever.

Shelikhova, who worked at Bay Medical Care in Bath Beach scammed the system out of $47 million, according to the New York Daily News.

Patients were paid to get bogus and non-existent physical therapy treatments up to three times a week for over a year. The clinic would then bill the treatments to Medicare.

Shelikhova disappeared in July of 2010 after the law caught up with the fraudulent practices.

Shelikhova managed the clinic and was an authorized signatory on the clinic’s bank accounts. She also managed two nearby clinics that took part in the theft. The clinics involved in the scheme include Bay Medical Care PC at 8686 Bay Parkway, SVS Wellcare Medical PLLC at 7616 Bay Parkway and SZS Medical Care PLLC at 8686 Bay Parkway.

“Nobody needs that much physical therapy,” said Thomas O’Donnell, a special agent who investigated the scheme.

The cases against all the defendants are ongoing. Shelikhova is charged with conspiracy to pay health care kickbacks, health care fraud and money laundering.