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Federal charges for Twin Cities doctor accused in 'kickback' scheme with pharmacy

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A Bloomington pain management doctor is charged in an alleged scheme between her and a metro pharmacy to profit off patients and their prescriptions.

According to an FBI press release, Dr. Elena Lev Polukhin is accused of referring "virtually every patient" with a prescription for a topical pain cream to the Best Aid Pharmacy in St. Louis Park – in exchange for kickbacks totaling over $40,000.

Federal prosecutors say the payments were made to Dr. Polukhin through the non-profit Roife-Nissenbaum Trust, a charitable entity she set up and operated.

The release says this was all part of a conspiracy to overbill Medicare and Medicaid on the pain relief medicine, which two pharmacy employees are also facing charges for.

In addition to the kickback scheme, Polukhin is also accused of "placing an emphasis on generating profits" in the care she provided by keeping her patients "hooked on addictive painkillers."

The 58-year-old, who is the proprietor of Rehabilitation Consultants, received her education in Russia and was once a competitive gymnast on the Russian Olympic Team Reserve, according to her bio on the clinic's website.

She's charged with health care fraud, conspiracy to commit health care fraud, soliciting and receiving kickbacks, aggravated identity theft and distribution of controlled substances.

It's not clear when Polukhin will answer to these charges in court.

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