Two former substance use disorder (SUD) treatment professionals have pleaded guilty to participating in a multi-state kickback scheme, according to the Department of Justice (DOJ).
The men — Michael Olshavsky, of Miami, and John Paul Linke, of Bristol, Tenn. — now face up to five years in prison each.
Olshavsky and Linke conspired to pay and receive kickbacks between November 30, 2015, and May 30, 2016, according to court documents. During that time, Linke worked at an office-based opioid treatment program, while Olshavsky was employed by Encore Holdings LLC, a Florida lab with urine drug testing capabilities.
For $5,000 a month, Linke arranged for his clinic to send drug screening samples to Encore, the DOJ said in a press release announcing the men’s pleas. Additionally, it explained that the money coming in from Olshavsky was falsely disguised as “independent sales representative” commission payments, which totaled at least $16,000 total over the course of the scheme’s duration.
Various government payers were defrauded as part of the kickback arrangement, including Medicare, Virginia Medicaid and TennCare.
“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 for the Western District of Virginia Daniel Bubar said in the press release. “We will continue to investigate and prosecute healthcare providers who attempt to divert these funds for their own use.”
Olshavsky and Linke will be sentenced by a federal district court judge on September 17 and 16, respectively.