NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Authorities say over three dozen suspects were arrested Wednesday for allegedly defrauding insurance companies of millions of dollars.
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Officials say 35 suspects, including ten doctors and three attorneys, were taken into custody in New York and New Jersey and are expected to be arraigned later in the day. A 36th suspect was arrested in Minnesota.
Many of the suspects are accused of being part of a Russian organized crime family.
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Federal prosecutors say they billed Medicare and Medicaid for medically unnecessarily treatments stemming from auto accidents.
The fraud amounted to more than $279 million over the course of several years, in what prosecutors called “largest single no-fault automobile insurance fraud ever charged.”
FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Janice K. Fedarcyk issued a statement that said in part:
“The criminal enterprise, while it lasted, was obscenely profitable. The scheme not only unjustly enriched the defendants and defrauded insurance companies. Auto insurance fraud is also a crime that indirectly victimizes every driver in New York.”
“Today’s charges expose a colossal criminal trifecta, as the fraud’s tentacles simultaneously reached into the medical system, the legal system, and the insurance system, pulling out cash to fund the defendants’ lavish lifestyles,” U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in statement.
The suspects face insurance fraud, racketeering, money laundering and other charges.
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