Medicare Fraud Scheme Traded Spa Treatments, Other Goodies for Personal Info

Five doctors were among those arrested.

By Jonathan Dienst, Shimon Prokupecz and Joe Valiquette
|  Wednesday, Nov 2, 2011  |  Updated 2:45 PM EDT
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A $95 million Medicare fraud scheme that traded free spa treatments, dance lessons and other goodies for personal information from Medicare beneficiaries was busted Wednesday, resulting in 17 arrests.

Health clinics allegedly gave the freebies so that they could use the personal information to bilk the federal government out of millions in improper Medicare bills.

Five doctors were among those arrested.

In many cases, procedures that were billed were never done.

In others, patients were allegedly given cash kickbacks to undergo unnecessary treatments and tests.

“We will ‘follow the money’ and bring to justice all who would engage in financial transactions designed to disguise the proceeds of Medicare fraud,” said Loretta E. Lynch, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York.

The clinics were based in Brooklyn and Queens.

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