ABINGDON, Va. – A Miami, Florida man pleaded guilty last week to conspiring with a Bristol, Tennessee man to pay and receive kickbacks.
According to court documents, Michael Olshavsky, 51, of Miami, Florida, and John Paul Linke, 57, of Bristol, Tenn., conspired to receive and pay kickbacks to encourage urine drug screen testing performed by a lab in Florida. Some of the testing referred to the lab was paid for by Medicare, Virginia Medicaid, and TennCare.
Between November 30, 2015, and May 30, 2016, Linke was employed at an office-based opioid treatment program that used medication-assisted treatment for patients suffering from substance use disorder. In exchange for being paid $5,000 per month, Linke arranged for the clinic to send urine drug screen samples to the laboratory in Florida where Olshavasky worked. These payments were disguised as commissions paid to Linke as an “independent sales representative” for Olshavsky’s company, Encore Holdings LLC. Olshavasky paid Linke at least $16,000 through Encore Holdings to direct WRC’s drug screening business to the Florida lab, although Linke was not actually an independent sales representative for Encore, and he did not act as such.
“This prosecution demonstrates our commitment to protect the integrity of the health care system and hold individuals accountable who seek to fraudulently obtain critical Medicare and Medicaid funds,” Acting U.S. Attorney Bubar stated. “We will continue to investigate and prosecute healthcare providers who attempt to divert these funds for their own use. I am grateful for the continued partnership of the Virginia Attorney General’s Office and our other federal and state partners, whose hard work brought these providers to justice.”
“Healthcare providers who act fraudulently are not only stealing from our healthcare system but they are also stealing from taxpayers and they must be held accountable,” said Attorney General Herring. “I want to thank our local, state, and federal partners who worked alongside my Medicaid Fraud Control Unit to bring this case to justice and I look forward to our continued partnership on other important cases.”
“Those who seek to profit off the opioid crisis through illegal schemes make the problem worse,” said Special Agent in Charge Mark S. McCormack, FDA Office of Criminal Investigations Metro Washington Field Office. “We will continue to investigate and bring to justice those who, through their dishonesty, jeopardize the public health.”
Olshavsky pleaded guilty last week to one count of conspiring to pay and receive kickbacks. He will be sentenced on September 17, 2021 and faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines. Linke pleaded guilty recently to one count of conspiring to pay and receive kickbacks. He will be sentenced on September 16, 2021 and faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.
The Virginia Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Food and Drug Administration, the Department of Health and Human Services—Office of Inspector General, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, and the Virginia State Police are investigating the case.
Special Assistant United States Attorney Janine M. Myatt and Assistant United States Attorneys Randy Ramseyer and Whit Pierce are prosecuting the case.