Investigators say they have smashed an Armenian crime ring responsible for "the largest Medicare fraud scheme ever perpetrated by a single criminal enterprise." A multi-state probe dubbed "Diagnosis Dollars" has resulted in the indictment of 73 members and associates of the ring, including 52 arrested in raids around the country yesterday, the Los Angeles Times reports. Law enforcement officials say the gang bilked Medicare out of $163 million with phony clinics in 25 states.
The gang allegedly stole doctors' identities and set up bogus clinics, using stolen beneficiary information to bill Medicare for procedures that never occurred. "Health care fraud that targets the Medicare program makes victims of all Americans," said the head of the FBI's office in Los Angeles, where more than two dozen members of the crime ring were arrested. Some defendants could face life in prison if convicted. (Read more Medicare stories.)