Ringleader of ID theft ring gets 6 years in prison
The mastermind of an identity-theft ring that used stolen patient information from a New Hyde Park company to illegally make almost three-quarters of a million dollars was sentenced Wednesday to 6 years in federal prison.
Grigoriy Dekhkanov, 26, of Flushing, also was ordered by U.S. District Court Judge Joseph Bianco in Central Islip to pay back the $749,000 stolen by the ring during a three-month period in 2011, according to officials.
The case of Dekhkanov was the third in the past two weeks in Long Island federal court involving the growing problem of identity theft.
Last week, an Old Brookville woman was sentenced to prison for making $7 million using patient information stolen from nursing homes, and a Shirley man pleaded guilty in a multimillion-dollar tax fraud that used the personal information of residents of Puerto Rico.
Dekhkanov asked for a reduced sentence, telling Bianco that he was remorseful, adding "I stand before you a different man than I was three years ago," when he was arrested along with two confederates.
But Bianco said the prison sentence was imposed because of the "need to deter others engaged" in identity theft.
Dekhkanov had pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and identity theft along with two other members of the ring, Rohit Gulati and Monish Patel, both of Sands Point.
Gulati previously has been sentenced to three years; Patel is awaiting sentencing, officials said.
Eastern District federal prosecutor Allen Bode said that in 2011 the three stole the Social Security numbers and other identification from the records of 26,000 patients of the New Hyde Park medical services company run by Gulati's father.
Neither the father, nor the company, DGI, was accused of wrongdoing, officials said.
The three used the information from patients' records to obtain American Express cards and buy $749,000 worth of high-end electronics, mobile telephones, Apple gift certificates and gold, officials said.
The scheme was operated for only three months, using just 200 of the 26,000 records obtained, before investigators became aware of it and made arrests, officials said.
"But for the very quick action of federal agents," Bode said in court, "this massive fraud would have been even more massive."
Dekhkanov's attorney, John Meringolo of Manhattan, declined to comment.