The offices of Grigory Shyknevsky, D.D.S., at 2523 Ocean Avenue, where one of the accused worked. (Photo by Ariela B.)
First phony lawyers, now phony dentists.
Authorities arrested four people for pretending to be dentists and practicing on patients out of two Sheepshead Bay area clinics.
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman filed felony charges against Konstantin Shtrambrand, Ilya Zolotar, Sergey Tolokolnikov and Hakob Gahnapetyan for practicing dentistry without a license. They face up to four years in prison if convicted.
Prosecutors say that Shtrambrand, 43, Zolotar, 48, and Tolokolnikov, 54, saw patients at J.S. Atlantic Dental at 1707 Avenue P.
Gahnapetyan, 44, worked out of the dental offices of Grigory Shyknevsky, D.D.S., at 2523 Ocean Avenue.
The first clinic is owned by Joseph Grigory Shyknevsky, the son of the owner of the second clinic. Both are also being investigated, although no charges have been filed.
The sham practices came to light after the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit dispatched undercover investigators to the clinics. There they spotted each of the defendants wearing scrubs and performing dental work. Zolotar was seen drilling a patient’s tooth, and the other three were overheard doling out medical advice.
Schneiderman blasted the alleged frauds for putting unsuspecting patients at serious risk.
“New Yorkers deserve to have confidence that the people providing them healthcare are licensed professionals,” Schneiderman said in a statement. “Plain and simple: there is one set of rules for everyone and my office will not tolerate those who seek to skirt the rules, including in the medical profession.”
The August 28 bust, in which the clinics were raided by authorities, comes just weeks after FBI agents raided a Brighton Beach law office. In that bust, a man allegedly had stolen the identity of a retired lawyer and fraudulently represented clients in at least 11 court cases.