MOSCOW, March 2 (Itar-Tass) — The Prosecutor’s Office in the Southern District in New York stated that the largest insurance fraud was disclosed in the history of the United States. The operations, which were carried out simultaneously in the states New York, New Jersey and Minnesota, detained 36 people, most of whom are comers from Russia, Attorney of the Southern District of Manhattan Preet Bharara said.
The fraudsters have spread their roots in the health care system, the legal system and the insurance system, the Vechernya Moskva daily cited the attorney as saying. They led the luxurious lifestyle on the money meant for injured parties in the road accidents, the attorney pointed out. The detectives found that the group of fraudsters had been rampaging since 2007. The accused were working at private clinics in Brookline, Staten Island, Bronx and New Jersey. Along with ten doctors the criminal ring included managers and bookkeepers and three lawyers. The operation to expose the fraudulent scheme lasted 18 months and the best police forces were involved in it. The detectives found that the swindlers involved people, who were insured in private companies, and posed them as faked injured parties in road accidents.
The law enforcement agencies reported that members of the criminal ring, which included doctors and lawyers, opened more than 100 fly-by-night medical clinics, which gained 279 million dollars on false insurance accounts, the Kommersant daily writes. Opening the network of fly-by-night clinics, the defendants have developed a fraudulent scheme against insurance companies, the newspaper noted. The fraudsters headed the group of the so-called runners, which were to find people injured in the road accidents. To attract potential clients they used the advertising in Russian-language newspapers and on the radio stations. The runners offered a compensation of 100-200 dollars for a visit to the doctor to promising patients. All clients were registered in the clinics as ‘people injured in the road accidents’, putting false injuries on the medical records, and produced the bills for treatment to the insurance companies. Meanwhile, the cost of the services of the medical clinics frequently reached 50,000 dollars as the highest sum set in the law. The criminal ring was exposed after two undercover police agents infiltrated in the gang.
All defendants face from 30 to 70 years in prison. However, experts believe that the masterminds of the largest insurance fraud in the US history may be punished with a more lenient verdict. The fraud in medical insurance became the most notorious crime of Russian immigrants in the US a long time ago. The New York Prosecutor’s Office tries at least ten similar cases annually, an investigation source of the newspaper said. All detainees in such cases begin to cooperate with the investigation and rarely receive such long terms in prison. Even taking into account the scale of the criminal case, it will be surprising that someone will be released in 3-4 years, the source underlined.