One Prospect Park West sits at the entrance to Prospect Park (Photo by Mary Bakija)

A Medicaid fraud bust at a Park Slope adult day care center resulted in the arrest today of residents of Sheepshead Bay, Brighton Beach and Sea Gate, one of whom is a member of Sheepshead Bay’s Community Board 15.

The three local defendants worked at Northern Manor Adult Day Health Care Program at One Prospect Park West. They are accused of falsifying medical records to bilk the Medicaid program out of more than $1 million. The center’s operators are also accused of hiring unqualified individuals to provide services.

The bust followed a long-term investigation by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, which has been probing adult day health care centers for potential abuses.

The attorney general’s office set up covert stings, sending healthy, vibrant seniors to the facility as undercover informants for the attorney general. They say their secret cameras recorded Larisa Rumynik, 48, of Brighton Beach, and Valentina Shapran, 51, of Sea Gate, falsifying medical admission forms to ensure the healthy patients would qualify for the programs.

The third local defendant, Liliya Kostyuk, 58, of Sheepshead Bay, is accused of providing social work services and psychological assessments that she was not qualified to perform, the attorney general’s office said.

Kostyuk is also a member of Community Board 15, a government body comprised of 50 unpaid community members appointed at the request of City Council members. The Boards are responsible for advising city and state agencies on planning decisions. According to Chairperson Theresa Scavo, Kostyuk has been on the Board for at least six years and is an appointee of former Councilman Michael Nelson. She did not hold any leadership posts on the Board.

“You’ve got to be kidding,” said Scavo on hearing the news of Kostyuk’s arrest. “Liliya? I’m speechless. she’s always seemed so quiet. I guess you can never judge.”

Each of the three defendants face up to four years in state prison if found guilty. The program’s director, Gelena Deverman, 35, of New Jersey, was charged with grand larceny for causing Medicaid to pay more than $1 million in phony claims. She faces 25 years in prison.

Northern Manor’s parent company, Northern Manor Multicare Center based in Nanuet, New York, in a separate civil settlement, admitted that it operated without a qualified social worker from mid-2010 to 2011. They also confessed to routinely admitting more registrants than it was certified to take.

The parent company agreed to pay a $6.5 million civil settlement in the case and to shut down the Brooklyn center.

“Today’s charges detail yet another example of egregious, despicable abuse of public resources for personal gain, sending the message that criminal behavior will be met with the full force of the law,” said Schneiderman in a press release. “Employees of this program will never again be able to steal from taxpayers and deprive vulnerable New Yorkers of the care they deserve.”

Adult day cares are surging in popularity across New York, seen as a less costly alternative to nursing homes. Such facilities are licensed by the state to provide medical and psychosocial care to seniors who are unable to care for themselves, and are paid approximately 65 percent of the rate paid to a nursing home that provides room and board.

However, the lack of oversight has seen a spike in fraud, with some centers offering gifts, kickbacks and incentives for recruiting potential Medicaid recipients.

Both the state legislature and City Council have sought reforms to limit abuse.

Related posts

  • Kriston Lewis

    They’ve attempted to close that center in the past and convert it to market-rate units. I guess they’ve got the excuse they’re looking for.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/25/nyregion/residents-left-scrambling-as-brooklyn-assisted-living-home-prepares-to-close.html?module=Search&mabReward=relbias%3Ar%2C%7B%221%22%3A%22RI%3A9%22%7D

    • http://www.sheepsheadbites.com/ Ned Berke

      Different center. I thought about mentioning that, but the piece was running long and it wasn’t that relevant. This is a day care program with a separate space and separate entrance in the same building, leased to them by the landlord. It has no affiliation with Prospect Park Residence.

      • Kriston Lewis

        Understood.

  • SoupDoggy

    One of them lives within a block of the Oceana. It’s contagious.

  • Igor

    Hopefully our pols eill finally rid South Brooklyn of this Russian filth. The mosque opposition, the swastika banner and the support for Israel are a front to attack a group of people, whilr the Russians act as if they were saintly in South Brooklyn. In reality, these people are freaks, who not know right from wrong. They engage in all sorts of criminal activities in Brooklyn. Moreover, you never see any religous American Jews at these gstherings. This is a pattern of these individuals deranged and weird behavior. These people are not conservative at the very least. Tbeir children attend colleges with mostly black and arab students. Then the Russians say poor us, we had to go to these college with arabs and blacks, do we not deserve jobs, instead of Americans. Shame on you Brooklyn. Russians derive their success do to pro gay and the action like networks. Instead of saying how they are the beacon of conservatism in South Brooklyn, why not just move to a conservative neighborhood. A pattern of weird and bizzare behavior. I’ve had enough of this group, off with their heads. It is timeto put these Russians back in their place. No better way of doing it then bringing in groups, who will breed the Russians out of existence.

    • FoodForThoughtless

      But they make great salads.

  • Horatio Caine, CSI Miami

    Medicaid fraud seems to be a rampant and profitable source of wealth, mainly for our Russian neighbors. The various government agencies who are tasked with Medicaid oversight could probably devote even more resources to uncovering and auditing, and recapture much stolen money. “Behind every great fortune is a great crime.”

  • Larisa Rokhkind

    I KNOW LILIYA KOSTYUK FOR MANY YEARS, SHE IS VERY HONEST AND INTELLEGENT PERSON. I AM ALSO SPEECHLESS. IF SHE IS NOT QULIFIED FOR HER JOB, WHY SHE WAS HIRED?

    • Guy

      According to the Daily News, your friend was not a
      licensed social worker. Not saying if it true or not but that what she’s accused of.

  • Lyubov Mikityansky

    I know Lilya K more than twenty years, she is a real professional who graduated Touro college in New York ( second college education) and at the same time she is a very talented and gifted journalist who is taking care about seniors,people,friends with heart,soul . She is a very honest,dedicated person and she has a gift from God to give people her love,care,time( without counting) more than to take something from them.She is my real friend many years and I don’t believe in this.She was doing her job honestly serving people and doing assessment as a result of her daily job. She is a very famous and respectful person,woman in our immigrant community. I hope that her case will be solved right way.She is not guilty!!!!

    • MJ

      Looks as you really don’t know your friend as well as you thought. Sometimes good people get wrapped up too easily in money schemes. Greed and greed it is.

    • arnietheK

      And you know she is not guilty, how?

      • Larisa Rokhkind

        YES! I DO KNOW THAT SHE IS NOT GUILTY NOW . I WAS WORKING AT NURING HOMES FOR 15 YEARS. NOBODY FROM OUR 6 SOCIAL WORKERS DID NOT HAVE A LICENSE, EVEN DIRECTOR OF SOCIAL SERVICES. NURSING HOME IS A SKILLED NURSING FACILITY. PLEASE, I WANT TO KNOW HOW MANY SOCIAL WORKES WORKING AT DAY CARE CENTER AND IN 62 NURSING HOMES OF NY HAVE LICENSE? ARE ALL OF THOSE WHO DOES NOT HAVE LICENCE ARE GOING TO SPEND 4 YEARS IN PRISON?

        • jimmy

          Why dont you learn the english language you filthy animal. Maybe you should be investigated and thrown in prison as well. I would like to see the Bensonhurst JCH investigated. You Russian are a nasty pig , just like your men.

          • Eugene

            Hey Jimmy seems like you’re quite a bitter guy. Maybe you need to go see a psychiatrist or something. All that pent up hatred and racism must not be very good for your health.

        • Gwendolyn

          Why don’t you stop accusing other nursing homes with your crazy allegations. You worked for these Russian scam offices, which do not represent the character of sound legitimate facilities. I am a Black woman, and am often racially insulted by Russian women, who are a blotch on our profession.

          • Eugene

            “I am a Black woman, and am often racially insulted by Russian women, who are a blotch on our profession.”

            Gwendolyn seems they are on to something, seeing as you are quite racist to say something like that about your co-workers. Usually people get the treatment they deserve which seems to be the case with you! Considering how black people in this country are treated by whites you should know better than to abuse other minorities especially immigrants. You are blind to your own ignorance. Hope you open your eyes to it and maybe your co-workers will start respecting you more.

          • A

            She deserves to be racially insulted? She abuses immigrants?

            Interesting interpretation of a situation you know nothing about.

          • Jimmy

            Go drive a livery cab you Russian lowlife. Gwendolyne’s son is waiting for you. Because what you gonna do when he comes for you?

          • Alex

            Jimmy, stfu you filthy animal.
            Time to take your medication

        • K

          Did she claim that she has a license?
          b68us

          • Larisa R

            NO. SHE DID NOT. OWNERS NEW ALL HER CREDENTIALS.

          • k

            So, they just used her

          • k

            or, i prefer to say she allowed the owners to use her

  • Pingback: Sheepshead Bites » Blog Archive End Of Week Reading: Brooklyn Stories You May Have Missed » Sheepshead Bay News Blog

  • Pingback: Brooklyn News Roundup | Fort Greene Focus

  • Pingback: Sheepshead Bites » Blog Archive » Sheepshead Bay News Blog

  • Lenny

    I’ve known Lilya Kostyuk or about fifteen (15) years, and I
    know her very well. She has done nothing
    all her life but help people and ask for nothing in return. The woman does not have a greedy bone in her
    body – she is the very soul of kindness and selflessness. I personally do not believe that she had done
    anything wrong or illegal, and this opinion is based on actually knowing a
    person and knowing how she lives her life.

  • Pingback: Brooklyn News Roundup | Kensington BK

  • Pingback: Brooklyn News Roundup