Medicare fraud is big business–perhaps as much as $50 billion each year, according to the FBI. One classic scam involves recruiting patients to come to a clinic, then using the patient’s billing information to fraudulently charge for services never rendered or charging for expensive wheelchairs.
It’s an all-too-common story, but keep reading, because this scam has a twist. Two Los Angeles fraudsters, Eduard Aslanyan and Carolyn Vasquez, not only fraudulently used patient information, but also stole the identities of doctors themselves.
Here’s how: Aslanyan and Vasquez set up a series of fraudulent medical clinics and recruited doctors to serve as medical directors. Some doctors apparently just came by for an interview, but never worked at the clinic. No matter. Aslanyan and Vasquez stole their identities and had physician assistants use the doctors’ information to commit fraud. Aslanyan and Vasquez submitted more than $18.9 million in fraudulent claims to Medicare. That is a lot of health care. Continue reading