Former Brooklyn assemblyman Alec Brook-Krasny has been indicted along with 12 other people who allegedly worked with three Brooklyn medical clinics to defraud Medicaid and Medicare and sell reams of illicit prescriptions for potent painkillers.
Brook-Krasny was the first Russian-born member of the state legislature when he was elected to represent the Bay Ridge and the West End of Coney Island in 2000. He stepped down before the end of his term in 2015 to work in the private sector. This work, as chief operating officer of the medical testing company Quality Lab Services, would turn out to be a serious pitfall. At the firm, according to the indictment, Brook-Krasny allegedly directed the needless testing of specimens sent by two firms, then billed Medicaid and Medicare for the work. The former pol was also allegedly caught on a wiretap in 2016 agreeing to falsify a lab result by deleting a patient's alcohol levels.
This, according to prosecutors, was part of his systematic deletion of positive alcohol results that would have prevented patients from receiving opioid painkillers, because mixing booze and such pills increases the risk of overdosing.
He is charged with healthcare fraud, scheming to defraud, and scheming to defraud by unlawfully selling prescriptions.
The irony in this is that, as assemblyman, Brook-Krasny introduced at least two bills meant to address opioid addiction. One, introduced in January 2014, called for the creation of a community drug addition services program, to fund detox facilities and connect addicts with long-term treatment. The bill was stricken from consideration a week after Brook-Krasny introduced it. In May of that year, shortly after Brook-Krasny attended an Assembly "roundtable Opiate and Heroin Epidemic," the assemblyman introduced a bill seeking $500,000 "to raise awareness of the inherent dangers and costs of heroin." The bill was referred to the Committee on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse the same day, and never went anywhere from there.
Attended the Assembly roundtable on the Opiate and Heroin Epidemic http://t.co/gVr1hOsN3w
— Alec Brook-Krasny (@AlecBrookKrasny) May 12, 2014
A spokeswoman for Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz, a fellow southern Brooklyn representative who worked closely with Brook-Krasny and attended the opioid roundtable with him, did not respond to a request for a reaction.
In all, the clinics involved allegedly prescribed six million oxycodone pills worth $60 to $100 million. Dr. Lazar Feygin, one of the central defendants, allegedly ran two clinics that Brook-Krasny worked with, in Bedford-Stuyvesant and Kensington. Altogether, the Medicaid and Medicare fraud at that and one other clinic in Midwood allegedly totaled $24 million. Feygin allegedly used the proceeds to fund lavish vacations and real estate purchases. He is being held without bail.
The two indictments against the 13 defendants include 466 charges in all. Of those, Brook-Krasny is facing two felonies and a misdemeanor. The charges carry maximum sentences of 1, 4, and 15 years in prison.
The New York Post reported in February that he was still using his Assembly member license plates on his SUV eight months after leaving office.
Brook-Krasny is currently out of the country on vacation, and prosecutors are in talks with his lawyer to arrange his surrender, according to a spokeswoman for the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor. His lawyers did not respond to a call seeking comment.