Photo by Ariela B.

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.

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  • bagels

    Good. The Feds have to keep the ball rolling in taking action against these scammers.

  • Supporter of Gulag Justice

    These types of fraudsters have no regard for the American people nor do they fear our criminal justice system. The proper punishment, in addition to some jail time, is to revoke their citizenship (or Visa) and deport them to their “wonderful” homelands. If that happened, they would soil their pants.

  • Alex

    Up to 4 years in prison? That’s it?
    No wonder these bastards are not afraid of scheming the government

    • Jimmy

      What needs to happen is that if convicted on felony charges, these naturalized immigrants should then be deported. I would like to see some local American businessmen investigated as well. Persons such as Howard Witz and Bruce Barron seem to be shady characters.

      • Lisanne!

        Witz is most likely a legitimate business person. That said, Real Estate is a business where all manner of ethically questionable practices are legal. Bruce Baron is an attorney, I need to say no more than that.

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  • Georgians

    I know Ilya Zolotar more than 10 years. Ilya is a wonderful doctor dentist, has a great experience and amazing skillful hands. Every visit with him was a grateful experience. Since I find Ilya dentist in NY( after different dentists with 5 diplomas on the office wall) I never trust any other dentist. He made me and everyone really happy.

    • SomeGuy

      I’m sure you know all about his amazing skillful hands.

  • Georgians

    Ilya Zolotar is a foreign-trained dentist. He was a dentist in his country for many years so he is not a “fake dentist”

    • Sam

      If he is NOT licensed to practice his trade in this country, (USA) then, yes, he is indeed ‘fake’. That is reality. He broke the law of the land that he chose to live in.

  • Lynn

    Makes me wonder how much of their profit was legal as well. Hope that the investigation is covering Medicare.

  • CuriousCat112

    Not to defend their wrongdoing, but many medical professionals are trained and certified in other countries. When they come here they have to recertify and probably many need additional coursework to work in their profession. With the need to earn a living- they just don’t do it ! Totally wrong but I can see the dilemma. Glad they caught them.

    • Native NYer

      Dilemma? Really? Sorry, I’m a bit outraged at that. This is more then just a little dilemma. It’s about ethics, and the fact that these people (those who do not wish to be bothered with a little dilemma of getting the necessary medical training in THIS country), seemingly have a problem with the standards and practices that are expected of them.
      If your Doctor is willing to lie about something so important, such as their actual education, what else would they lie about? How could anyone ever trust them with their very lives?
      I find this to be a very serious situation. They are NOT licesnced to practice anything, therefore everything to follow is a lie…. Insurance. Billing. Prescriptions. And so on.