The mansion that opioids and medicaid fraud bought: Prosecutors follow the cash to Staten Island

Posted at 10:04 PM, Apr 11, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-11 22:04:45-04

STATEN ISLAND — The April 2016 real estate clip for the mansion at 64 McCully Avenue on Staten Island is quite remarkable.

Footage shot from a drone shows a tan mansion with expensive windows and accents, on a corner lot, with a gorgeous pool and paved backyard, eight luxury bathrooms, a Master Chef’s kitchen, and six, palatial-sized bedrooms.

It’s in the tony Lighthouse Hill section of the borough.

This is the place that Dr. Lazar Feygin has called home since June 2016, when the mansion was purchased for $2.3 million.

Prosecutors say it’s the mansion that opioids and Medicaid fraud bought.

The 70-year-old Feygin was the first doctor walked into court by Drug Enforcement Administration agents last Friday, as he led a chain gang of other physicians, nurse practitioners, and physicians’ assistants.

The Special Narcotics Prosecutor said in a criminal indictment that Feygin recruited at least 12 other people to bilk the Medicaid system — and to also prescribe highly-addictive painkillers — in a scheme that started in 2012.

Feygin yelled to reporters that he was innocent and that he only treated “sick patients….not addicts.”

But pills were only part of the story.

Dr. Feygin, and his associate—Dr. Paul McClung—were listed in New York State’s “Top Ten” list of physicians getting millions in Medicaid reimbursements.

Their clinics collected a total of $24 million dollars in a four year period, with Feygin’s two clinics getting $16 million of that amount.

The city’s Metroplus health program paid out $13 million of the 24 million received by the doctors.

Commissioner Mark Peters from the New York City Department of Investigation said “These defendants commandeered the insurance plan for city residents, Metroplus. This is only the first investigation of overbilling of the city’s Metroplus program, but it is not our last.”

The indictment said the conspiracies reached their height last year, when three clinics involved in the scams averaged 1,600 patient visits a month.

A physical therapist, Reynat Glaz, was accused of billing Medicaid for sham services, often putting patients in a massage chair for a few minutes.

Scott Lampert, in charge of the Inspector General’s Office for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, said “Thousands of patients were charged an estimated $700 a visit.”

The U.S. government started a Medicare Fraud Task Force in nine cities ten years ago, in March 2007.

In that time, it’s uncovered evidence of $11 billiion dollars in fraud.

But that could be a drop in the bucket.

PIX11 has been following government raids at corrupt medical clinics since 2010.

The owner of one clinic on Bay Parkway in Brooklyn, Irina Shelikhova, was ordered to pay back $50 million dollars to the U.S. government. She also had to forfeit $38 million dollars in assets.

She’s currently serving 15 years in prison.