NEW YORK DAILY NEWS – THOMAS TRACY, CHRISTINA CARREGA
A couple living in a penthouse suite and four doctors, including an NYPD surgeon, were indicted on Tuesday for preying on vulnerable Brooklyn residents to defraud the health care system and line their pockets with millions.
Kristina Mirbabayeva, her husband Alexander Kopenkin and her mother Irina Fedorova teamed up with doctors at medical clinics in Canarsie, Crown Heights and Bedford-Stuyvesant to fraudulently bill Medicaid and Medicare for phantom tests performed on patients.
Mirbabayeva, 35, and over a dozen others including Dr. Robert Vaccarino, a doctor employed part-time by the NYPD, shared over $146 million in stolen funds from January 2015 through this November, prosecutors said.
“This is a black eye to the health care profession,” said Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez who announced the 878-count indictment at a press conference Tuesday. “These individuals preyed on the vulnerable, and for what, more Chanel bags?”