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Man gets time served for staging crashes

A Belarus native who helped put together a scheme that involved staged car crashes and phony insurance claims was sentenced to 16 months he already served and ordered to pay $334,000 restitution Friday in U.S. District Court.

Maxim Levin, 29, was also ordered by Judge William M. Skretny to finish his last semester at the University at Buffalo as part of a five-year period of supervised release.

Levin took a guilty plea in March, one of nearly two dozen people to plead in the case, and admitted that he ran the former First Buffalo Medical Clinic in Williamsville.

Investigators from a federal task force involving the FBI, the Labor Department, the Department of Health and Human Services and the state Insurance Department said Levin's clinic helped people file insurance claims for injuries they never suffered.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jack E. Rogowski said the clinic also employed a phony doctor, Mark Nepokroeff, 45, of Pendleton. Nepokroeff was sentenced to four months in prison after he admitted that he used a forged Mexican medical school diploma and treated patients for nine years.

Levin, of Buffalo, also made money at the clinic by selling medical devices to people who never needed them. Authorities said insurers paid for the devices.

Levin also admitted a felony drug conspiracy charge involving cocaine.

Anthony J. Lana, Levin's attorney, told Skretny that Levin has turned around his life since his arrest. Skretny could have sentenced Levin to five years in federal prison.

Trial lawyer Matthew L. Kolken, who married Levin's sister Natasha last December, wrote Skretny that Levin "is a man of character" and said the Levin family was a classic American success story.


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