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Drug rehab owner, associates arrested for alleged Medi-Cal fraud

March 23, 2010 | 11:22 am

The owner of a Los Angeles-based drug and alcohol rehabilitation center and five of her associates have been arrested for alleged Medi-Cal fraud, the state attorney general’s office announced Tuesday.

Tatyana Yakovenko, the owner of New Beginnings Recovery Treatment Center Inc., and five members of the center’s upper management were arrested Tuesday on charges of felony grand theft and filing false Medi-Cal claims, according to the attorney general’s office.

The maximum sentence for conviction on both felonies is three years in state prison.

"These individuals stole tens of thousands of dollars from the state's alcohol and drug treatment programs," California Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown said in a statement. "In this time of economic crisis, it's brazen and offensive that these individuals chose to rip off public health programs instead of helping substance abusers get their lives together."

Between July 1, 2005, and May 30, 2009, Yakovenko and her associates submitted 1,642 fraudulent claims totaling more than $68,000 to the California Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs, Brown's office claims.

New Beginnings, which operated four treatment centers in L.A. County, provided alcohol and drug treatment services to Medi-Cal patients. The center recently closed its operations, said Dana Simas, a spokesperson for the attorney general’s office.

-- Carla Hall