“One 86-year-old woman had been receiving laser treatments on her eyes every three months for 10 years, even though she had excellent vision and no sign of disease.” (The prosecution)
In the state of Florida an eye specialist who is now known to have stolen more money from Medicare than any other doctor in the U.S. over a 5-year period that began in 2008, was convicted on April 28.
Doctor Salomon Melgen was found guilty in West Palm Beach federal court on all 67 felony charges, including Healthcare Fraud, Falsification of Medical Records and Submission of Illegal Insurance Claims.
During the trial the federal prosecutors were able to prove that Melgen, a 62-year-old ophthalmologist, illegally raked in more than $100,000,000 from the federal insurance provider for patients generally of retirement age.
Investigators revealed that Melgen was paid $21,000,000 from Medicare in the year 2012 alone, in an appalling scam that took place between 2008-2013. Prosecutors said during that time Melgen stole a total of $105 million by performing medically unnecessary tests and treatments on naïve elderly and disabled patients.
Melgen’s lawyer argued that the doctor simply made “billing mistakes” that were unintentional.
Yes, some legal idiot really did say that.
Melgen can now spend the summer looking forward to yet another trial in New Jersey in September, when he faces corruption charges, along with Democratic Senator Robert Menendez in an upcoming bribery trial. Government prosecutors say Menendez tried to use political power to thwart an investigation into millions of dollars of false claims by Melgen’s clinic, after the physician plied him with expensive vacations and gifts. Menendez is accused of accepting gifts from the doctor in return.
Melgen is an immigrant doctor from the Dominican Republic. Go figure. He could get a 20-year federal prison term when he is sentenced this summer.
Now time for a break: we feel the curious need to take a shower.