Three Plead Guilty to $6.5 Million Healthcare Fraud

By Janice Cameron, The Chicago Times

March 3, 2023

CHICAGO – A Chicago-area physical therapist, health care professional, and a personal trainer have pleaded guilty to healthcare fraud schemes that totaled $6.5 million dollars in fraudulent claims.  

United States Attorney for the Northern District John R. Lausch, Jr. said Inessa Katsnelson, 55, of Glenview, Maya Yakubovichn 56, of Arlington Heights, and Beatta Kabbani, 55, of Glenview, each pleaded guilty to one count of healthcare fraud for scheming to defraud private insurers for payment of physical therapy and other services that were never rendered.

Katsnelson, aka “Inessa Blinov,” “Inessa Danuchevsky”, and “Inna,” is a personal trainer and singer who worked out of a gym in Northbrook, participated in a scheme to defraud private health and auto insurers through multiple entities from 2006 to October 2018.  Katsnelson allegedly provided names and insurance information for purported patients to those entities, knowing the entities would submit fraudulent claims to insurance companies for services never provided.  Katsnelson allegedly provided to some of the individuals she referred certain benefits, including free personal training sessions, massages, and the exhaustion of their annual health insurance deductibles, at no cost to them, through the fraudulent billing practices.

Yakubovich, who worked as a medical claims biller for health care facilities in Buffalo Grove, Northfield, Prospect Heights, Wheeling, Des Plaines, and Glenview, participated in the scheme with Katsnelson and others.  According to Lausch, from approximately 2006 to October 2018, Yakubovich knowingly prepared and submitted fraudulent claims, and at times created false medical records to support the claims.  Yakubovich also provided names and insurance information for purported patients to one of the entities, and then submitted fraudulent claims to insurance companies for services never provided to the purported patients.

Kabbani, who was a licensed physical therapist, president, and secretary of a medical group located in Northfield and Glenview, pleaded guilty in a separate case based on her involvement in a related scheme.  According to Lausch, between September 2011 and November 2016, Kabbani fraudulently submitted, and caused to be submitted, fraudulent claims to insurance companies.  The claims falsely represented that certain healthcare services were provided to patients, when Kabbani knew that those services were not actually provided.  The fraudulent claims identified Kabbani, a medical doctor, and another therapist as the service providers on dates when these three providers were not present at the healthcare facility.  To substantiate the fraudulent claims Kabbani created, and caused the creation of, false medical records.

It was revealed that Katsnelson, Yakubovich, and Kabbani, along with their co-schemers, received a portion of the fraudulently obtained funds.  The indictment against Katsnelson, Yakubovich, and others alleges that nine insurance companies were defrauded out of approximately $6.5 million.  Lausch said co-schemers whose charges are still pending are 60-year-old Tetyana Voronkina, aka “Tanya Vorokina”, a medical claims biller, of Mundelein, and massage therapist Viktor Danchuk, 62, of Roselle.

Katsnelson is scheduled to appear for sentencing on May 26, 2023, Yakubovich’s sentencing is scheduled for May 24, 2023.  Kabbani’s sentencing has not been scheduled at this time.