ST. LOUIS – United States District Judge Henry E. Autrey sentenced Denis Mikhlin to 108 months in prison today. The judge also ordered Mikhlin to pay restitution. The 41-year-old St. Louis County, Missouri resident pleaded guilty, in August, to four felony counts of conspiracy, obtaining oxycodone and other opioid drugs by fraud and deceit, receiving illegal kickbacks in return for sending urine specimens to Central Diagnostic Laboratory for medically unnecessary testing, and causing the Medicare and Medicaid programs to pay $4,704,568 for medically unnecessary prescription drugs and drug tests.

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Mikhlin conspired with Dr. Jerry Leech and others to issue and distribute illegal prescriptions for opioids and other controlled substances to patients. Mikhlin and his co-conspirators knew the patients did not have a legitimate medical need for drugs and instead were abusing the drugs or selling them.

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Additionally, Mikhlin recruited individuals and paid them for the use of their names on the fraudulent prescriptions. Once the prescriptions were filled, some of the drugs were returned to Mikhlin and the rest were kept by the individuals or sold to others. To conceal this illegal activity, Mikhlin and others created patient files, falsely indicating the patients had been examined by the prescribing doctors and the patients were regularly monitored and tested.

On February 2, 2021, co-defendant Dr. Jerry Leech pleaded guilty to four felony counts for his actions related to this conspiracy and fraud scheme. His sentencing is scheduled for May 11, 2021.

Co-defendants Erin Herman, Vladimir Kogan, Ebony Price, Tijuana Spates, and Erica Spates have also pleaded guilty. All are scheduled for sentencing in May 2021.

The case was investigated by the Office of the Inspector General, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Missouri Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, Missouri Attorney’s General Office and the U.S. Department of Defense. Assistant United States Attorney Dorothy McMurtry is handling the case.

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