New York Man Admits Guilt In $1.9M Fraud Involving Baby Formula

A man in New York admitted to taking part in a $1.9 million scheme pushing fraudulently received baby formula, pleading guilty to the charges Thursday.

The news broke in a report published by the Department of Justice (DOJ).

Prosecutors report that 43-year-old Staten Island resident Vladislav Kotlyar aided in the submission of fraudulent prescriptions and medical records for specialty baby formula that was paid for by health insurers. According to court papers, Kotlyar received medical records for infants who were assigned specialty baby formula and doctored those filings to get even more baby formula of the same kind.

“After receiving the specialty baby formula, Kotlyar fabricated issues with the shipments, including by falsely claiming they were damaged or the incorrect formula to acquire additional formula at no additional cost. Kotlyar then sold the fraudulently obtained formula,” stated the DOJ.

“As part of the scheme, Kotlyar and his co-conspirators submitted more than $1.9 million in fraudulent claims to health insurers, including during a national shortage of baby formula,” the agency wrote.

Staten Island Advance reported that Kotlyar and his co-conspirators allegedly sent over $1.9 million in fraudulent claims to health insurers, some during a national shortage of baby formula.

Kotlyar pleaded guilty to mail fraud and is now facing a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. He also signed off on forfeiting approximately $1 million and repaying over $738,000 in restitution.

The order for financial payouts reportedly came from District Judge William F. Kuntz.

This plea comes after numerous reports in the past couple of years highlighting recent shortages of baby formula:

According to UPI, approximately 40% of top-selling baby formula products had their stocks cleaned out at least once last April. The outlet further reported that an official date for the sentencing has not yet been selected.

While investigators claim that Kotlyar did not work alone, Thursday’s guilty plea had no mention of other co-conspirators.

The case, classified as ‘Health Care Fraud,’ is being investigated by the FBI and is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Patrick J. Campbell of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section.