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4 NY physicians indicted for allegedly bribing poor patients to undergo unnecessary medical tests: 5 key points

Four physicians were among the 20 individuals indicted in a medical billing fraud scheme, including a surgeon for the NYPD, according to Fox 5 NY

Here are five things to know:

1. Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez brought 858 counts against 20 defendants alleging healthcare fraud, grand larceny and corruption. The individuals, including four physicians as well as office managers, are accused of recruiting "poor people to undergo medical testing in exchange for cash."

2. According to the report, recruiters would target individuals at job centers and soup kitchens and offer cash payments to them for undergoing medical testing. The tests took place at six different Brooklyn-based medical clinics.

3. After the individuals underwent what Mr. Gonzalez believes was "unnecessary testing," the clinics billed Medicare, Medicaid and publicly funded insurance companies. In some cases, 18 procedures were billed for the same patient.

4. The report alleges the defendants laundered the money through foreign countries and then spent it on penthouses, designer handbags and other luxury goods. The cases span the past three years, and the investigation is ongoing.

5. Physicians accused in the scheme allegedly approved "thousands of fake medical cases" and face up to 25 years in prison. All four physicians are "behind bars," according to the report.

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