By Kate Raddatz

Update: Polukhin pleaded guilty in March of 2016 to soliciting and receiving kickbacks. As part of the agreement, the other counts against her were dismissed.

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A Bloomington doctor is accused of giving patients unnecessary painkillers so she could make money.

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Elena Polukhin, 58, is charged with health care fraud, soliciting and receiving kickbacks, and identity theft.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office says between February 2011 and December 2014, Polukhin prescribed most of her Bloomington clinic patients a topical pain relief cream. They could only get it from the Best Aid pharmacy in St. Louis Park.

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According to court documents, the manager and a pharmacist at Best Aid made a cheap version of the cream, then filed false claims to Medicare and Medicaid. They allegedly paid Polukhin $40,000 for her referrals and made the payments to a trust fund Polukhin created.

“Dr. Polukhin wrote unwarranted prescriptions for pain cream and prescribed opioids without any legitimate medical purpose,” U.S Attorney Andrew Luger said in a statement. “As Minnesota continues to struggle with our pain pill problem, it is cases like this that so clearly demonstrate the lengths to which some will go to abuse the health care system.”

Polukhin’s offices were closed Wednesday. Employees at Best Aid had no comment. Polukhin is currently in custody and will have an arraignment hearing in court Thursday.

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Polukhin is the owner and CEO of Rehabilitation Consultants in Bloomington. They specialized in pain management.

Kate Raddatz