Doctors, medical techs among 20 facing health care scam charges

Posted: Updated:
BROOKLYN -

Twenty people are facing charges in an alleged health care scam unveiled by acting District Attorney Eric Gonzalez.

The defendants include doctors, insurance billers and medical technicians. Fourteen businesses are also facing charges.

Authorities say the scheme was masterminded by Kristina Mirbabayeva. According to Gonzalez, she had recruiters prey on Medicare and Medicaid recipients in low-income neighborhoods and pay them to go to a partner medical clinic.

There, they would bill insurance providers for unnecessary medical tests on the patients or tests that weren't taken at all.

News 12 is told they billed for 18 tests in a single visit in one case, which according to the investigation should have taken more than 12 hours to complete.

Investigators say they defrauded insurance providers of nearly $150 million, pocketing the cash to pay for designer handbags, extravagant homes and vacations. 

"This was about greed - pure and simple - and it has real victims. It's often said in health care fraud cases that we're all victims and certainly that's true in this case," Gonzalez says.

If convicted on the top count, the defendants could face up to 25 years in prison.

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