Sam Solakyan
Sam solakyan

For organizing a conspiracy in which more than $250 million in claims for medical services were falsely submitted via the state workers’ compensation system, the former CEO of numerous Southern California medical imaging firms was sentenced to five years in federal prison on Friday.

According to the Department of Justice, Sam Sarkis Solakyan, 40, of Glendale, was found guilty by a federal jury in San Diego last year of conducting a “cross-referral” scam in which physicians got money or new patient referrals in return for referring workers’ compensation patients.

In addition to the jail sentence, U.S. District Judge Cynthia Bashant ordered Solakyan to pay almost $30 million in restitution to several insurers and barred him from working in the healthcare or workers compensation industries for the next three years after his release.

Patients were allegedly routed to Solakyan’s enterprises for exams that were invoiced to insurance companies, according to prosecutors. Defendants subsequently engaged into “various fake agreements,” such as contracts for marketing, administrative services, and scheduling, to disguise the actual nature of the bribes and kickbacks.

According to the DOJ, Solakyan’s recruiters compelled doctors to recommend a certain number of patients in order to be paid and/or obtain “cross-referrals.” Bribes andSam And Conway recommendations ceased if doctors didn’t fulfill the quota.

Prosecutors noted in a sentencing memorandum that “[Solakyan] paid $9 million in bribes in order to create over $250 million in false medical billings, the great majority of which were for MRIs [magnetic resource imaging] that were…totally medically unnecessary.”

“[Solakyan] devised, and through his kickbacks fueled, a cross- referral scheme that incentivized [co-conspirators] to herd patients to physicians who overprescribed ancillary services in exchange for cash and other economic benefits.”

According to the DOJ, Solakyan was the CEO of San Diego MRI Institute and also oversaw diagnostic imaging centers across the state, including in the Bay Area, San Diego, Los Angeles, and Orange counties.

He was found guilty of one count of conspiracy to conduct honest services mail fraud and health care fraud, as well as 11 counts of honest services mail fraud, after an eight-day trial.

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