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.

  • Brooklyn SlideshowsSlideshowsMore>>

  • Photos: Aftermath of NYC subway pipe bombing

    Photos: Aftermath of NYC subway pipe bombing

    A man with a pipe bomb strapped to him set off the crude device in the subway near Times Square on Monday, injuring the suspect and three other people at the height of the morning rush hour.   Images via Getty.

    A man with a pipe bomb strapped to him set off the crude device in the subway near Times Square on Monday, injuring the suspect and three other people at the height of the morning rush hour.   Images via Getty.

  • Photos: First snowfall of the season in NYC

    Photos: First snowfall of the season in NYC

    Sunday, December 10 2017 12:48 PM EST2017-12-10 17:48:45 GMT

    The first snowfall of the season arrived in New York on Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017, transforming city streets into scenes from a wintry postcard.

    The first snowfall of the season arrived in New York on Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017, transforming city streets into scenes from a wintry postcard.

  • Photos: 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' premiere in L.A.

    Photos: 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' premiere in L.A.

    the premiere of Disney Pictures and Lucasfilm's 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' at The Shrine Auditorium on December 9, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.the premiere of Disney Pictures and Lucasfilm's 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' at The Shrine Auditorium on December 9, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.

    Sights and scenes at the premiere of Disney Pictures and Lucasfilm's 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' at the Shrine Auditorium on Dec. 9, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.

    Sights and scenes at the premiere of Disney Pictures and Lucasfilm's 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' at the Shrine Auditorium on Dec. 9, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 5 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login, create an account or subscribe to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."