Owner, vice president of imaging company sentenced to prison for fraud

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Rafael Chikvashvili, the owner of Alpha Diagnostic Services, was sentenced to 10 years in prison on June 15 for healthcare and wire fraud conspiracy that resulted in the deaths of patients and for defrauding Medicare and Medicaid of more than $6 million.

Meanwhile, Timothy Emeigh, a vice president with Alpha Diagnostics Services, was sentenced to four years in prison on June 17 for fraudulently billing Medicare and private health insurers.

Emeigh, 52, was a licensed X-ray technologist in Maryland, but he was not a licensed physician, according to authorities. However, they alleged that Chikvashvili urged Emeigh to begin performing X-ray interpretations of ultrasounds, electrocardiograms, echocardiograms and Holter Monitors in 1997. He also produced false reports by using the names of physicians who had never seen the X-rays.

In later years, Emeigh interpreted and drafted fraudulent reports for ultrasounds and electrocardiograms from his home computer and used a cell phone application to interpret and transmit X-ray images, according to the authorities.

The authorities alleged that Chikvashvili, 69, spoke with Emeigh about the interpretations of reports created from remote locations.

Alpha Diagnostics had headquarters in Owings Mills, Md., and an office in Harrisburg, Pa. Per the terms of the company’s contract with Medicare, licensed physicians were required to order and interpret X-rays and other imaging tests and file formal reports.

Medicare lost more than $2.5 million related to Emeigh’s misconduct from January 2007 through October 2012.