Doctors busted in medical fraud case

"This massive scheme, which provided no patient care at all, wasted millions of taxpayer dollars dedicated to Medicaid and Medicare, which serve as a lifeline for so many Americans - our families, our friends, our neighbors", said Acting Brooklyn DA Eric Gonzalez.

Authorities say recruiters would scout Medicare and Medicaid recipients in low-income neighborhoods and pay them to go to a partner medical clinic. "I can not and will not allow this type of corruption and fraud to take place in Brooklyn and will spend every resource to stop it".

The indictment alleges 35-year-old Kristina Mirbabayeva was the ring leader of the scheme, which included four New York City physicians, office managers, patient recruiters, and worldwide money launders.

Officials said that once the so-called patients got there, they would receive a battery of unnecessary tests including allergy tests, cardiograms, ultrasounds and nerve tests.

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

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NYPD surgeon Robert Vaccarino was among the doctors recruited to sign off on the tests. Records, however, showed the officer had been billed for 18 tests that would have taken more than 12 hours to complete.

The money was then laundered through various foreign countries before being used to fund the fraudsters' lavish lifestyles.

"Let's be clear: these people spent your tax money", said Gonzalez.

Patients were paid $30 while the ringleader bought luxury handbags and a $3 million apartment, prosecutors said.

Attorney information for the suspects named in the case wasn't immediately available.

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