Feds arrest 8 in New Orleans, including 2 doctors, in alleged scheme to defraud Medicare, Medicaid

Date: Apr 27, 2011

Feds arrest 8 in New Orleans, including 2 doctors, in alleged scheme to defraud Medicare, Medicaid

Federal agents have arrested two elderly doctors and six other people suspected in an alleged fraud ring that targeted Medicare and Medicaid to the tune of more than $12 million in phony reimbursement claims, the FBI announced Tuesday.

Dr. Jerry Haskin, 78, and Dr. Jack Voight, 79, were among those arrested on suspicion of filing the phony claims through three New Orleans-area clinics: Health Plus, Saturn Health Care and New Millenium Health Care.

Clinic associates paid kickbacks to "marketers" and "recruiters" to find and transport patients, allowing them to bill for phantom or unnecessary procedures, according to a criminal complaint unsealed this week. Some patients got prescription pain drugs for undergoing a battery of unnecessary tests, then passed on some of the drugs to the marketers.

Several employees were involved in the scam, which the feds uncovered over a yearlong, multi-agency investigation, the FBI said. Also arrested were Jo Ann Girod, 38; Artem Gasparyan, 46; Aram Khlgatian, 55; Daria Litvinova, 24; Vadim Mysak, 24; and Anahit Petrosyan, 32, all New Orleans-area residents. Federal agents executed 10 search warrants in the raid.

Haskin is an anesthesiologist with an address on Lake Marina Avenue in the West End and a license in good standing. He has been practicing for nearly 35 years. Reached by phone Tuesday evening, he said he could not talk about the case, referring questions to his attorney, who declined to comment.

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