Twenty-three people charged in New York Medicaid fraud ring

(Next Media Online) – Twenty-three people have been indicted for being part of an alleged Medicaid fraud ring that took advantage of thousands of homeless people in New York to claim millions of dollars from Medicaid.

Recruiters would offer homeless people gathered at soup kitchens or welfare offices free shoes. Those with valid Medicaid cards would then be sent to clinics in Brooklyn and the Bronx, the New York Times reported.

The homeless people would undergo a series of medical tests, including cursory foot exams, pain-management evaluations and cardiograms, the Wall Street Journal reported. Doctors would then order specific equipment such as orthotics or leg braces that the patients did not actually need, according to New York Times.

Those clinics would then bill Medicaid for the unnecessary services and medical products. The fraud ring has made an estimated $7 million over two years time, the journal reported. Nine doctors were among the 23 people indicted over the scheme.

The leaders of the fraud ring have been identified as 43-year-old Manhattan resident Eric Vainer and his mother Polina Vainer, according to the Wall Street Journal.

SOURCES: Wall Street Journal, New York Times