A Man and A Woman Pleads Guilty to Role and Participation in Fraud Schemes

A Man and A Woman Pleads Guilty to Role and Participation in Fraud Schemes

Newark, New Jersey – United States Attorney Craig Carpenito on 20th November 2020 reported that a woman from Passaic County, New Jersey, and a man from New York confessed that they engaged in a conspiracy to defraud more than 260 of their moving company customers out of over 540,000 U.S. dollars.

Lior Atiyas (also known as David Cohen), from Hewlett, New York, age 42, admitted guilt to an accusation charging him with one conspiracy count to execute wire fraud and one conspiracy count to commit health care fraud. Lior Atiyas appeared before U.S. District Judge Claire C. Cecchi on 20th November 2020 through videoconference. Lola Larios (also known as Michelle Jacobs), from Haledon, New Jersey, age 37, admitted guilt to an accusation charging her with one conspiracy count to commit wire fraud. Lola Larios appeared before U.S. District Judge Claire C. Cecchi on 19th November 2020 through videoconference.

As per the documents filed in this matter and attestation made in court;

Between early January 2016 and January 2019, Lior Atiyas planned a conspiracy to make himself and his moving company rich, which employed various identities and names to cover its true identities, such as Metro Van Lines Inc., Premier Relocations LLC, Empire Move, Astoria Motor Van Company, and Lyon Moving. Lola Larios started working for the firm and immediately joined in the scheme. Lola Larios and Lior Atiyas consistently defrauded customers by stating them low-ball cost estimates for moving household items. After the customers’ items were loaded onto the moving trucks, Premier’s workers, at the instructions of Lola Larios and Lior Atiyas, or Lola Larios and Lior Atiyas themselves, would dramatically increase the cost of the move (often two or three times of the stated cost estimate), and then decline to move the items until the customers reimbursed the increased cost. The combined difference between the primary low-ball cost estimates, and the revised increased amounts charged to customers was 547,525 U.S. dollars.

Lior Atiyas further confessed to engaging in a conspiracy whereby he generated forged and falsified pay stubs and a forged employment confirmation letter in order for an unindicted schemer to receive Medicare benefits. Due to his role and engagement in the health care fraud scheme, Lior Atiyas triggered the submission of more than 40,000 U.S. dollars in false and fraudulent medical claims.

The accusation of a scheme to commit wire fraud bears a maximum mandatory imprisonment sentence of twenty years in federal prison and 250,000 U.S. dollars fine, or double the total pecuniary gain to the accused persons or double the loss to the victims, whichever is greater. The indictment of scheme to commit health care fraud bears a maximum mandatory imprisonment sentence of ten years in federal prison and 250,000 U.S. dollars fine, or double the total pecuniary gain to the accused persons or double the loss to the victims, whichever is greater.

Lola Larios’ and Lior Atiyas’ sentencing is set for 1st April 2021.

United States Attorney Craig Carpenito publicly acknowledged and applauded special agents with the Transportation Department – Office of Inspector General under the instructions of the Special Agent Douglas Shoemaker in Charge for the Northeast Region and the United States Health and Human Services Department- Office of the Inspector General under the instructions of Special Agent Scott J. Lampert in Charge for the HHS-OIG for their remarkable investigation that resulted to the pleas of guilty. United States Assistant Attorney of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Government Fraud Unit in Newark, Christopher Amore, represented the United States in this case.

Deemed as serious healthcare offenses, violating the Controlled Substance Act, False Claim Act, or the Anti-Kickback Statute will either send you straight to the cooler or have you incur heavy fines. Also, as a grave, is defrauding health care programs such as Medicaid, Medicare, and Tricare of their federally allocated funds.

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