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Ring Accused of $20 Million Medicare Fraud

MANHATTAN (CN) - A New York City-based ring defrauded Medicare and Medicaid of more than $25 million using "phony patients" and other ruses, federal prosecutors say.

The United States this week unsealed an indictment accusing 10 people of wire fraud, conspiracy and money laundering.

The ring submitted more than $70 in bills to Medicare and Medicaid, and got more than $25 million from it, according to the criminal indictment.

They are accused of running the scam out of the Avenue V Clinic, a "purported medical clinic" in Brooklyn, and the Elmhurst Clinic and Hillside Clinic, two more purported clinics, in Queens.

Prosecutors say the clinics did have a doctor on staff, who performed "only a few medical services or diagnostic tests."

Actually, prosecutors say, defendants Victor Lipkin and Vadim Zubkov controlled and ran the clinics.

Also sued were Eduard Zavalunov, Nikoloz Chochiev, Anatoliy Fatakhov, Mariana Swaffar, Jacqueline Pinez, Jonathan Oliver, Jason Brissett, and Gilbert Trotman.

The United States seeks seizure of bank accounts, forfeiture of assets, and substitute assets.

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