Insurance Fraud NEWS
Suspected $146M con earns boss $3.2M Brooklyn penthouse
December 05, 2017, Brooklyn, NY
A Chanel-loving female fraudster and four local doctors — including an NYPD surgeon — helped run a $146 million health-fraud scheme to fuel lavish lifestyles, authorities said Tuesday.
The well-heeled thieves would “systematically pick-pocket’’ taxpayers by dragging homeless people off the street and into their health clinics, where they would run useless costly tests to rack up billing fees, officials said.
“This was about greed pure and simple,’’ said Brooklyn DA Eric Gonzalez.
Ringleader Kristina Mirbabayeva of Brooklyn ran the illicit enterprise to satisfy her voracious appetite for the high life, the DA said.
She plunked down $3.25 million — all in cash — for a penthouse apartment in downtown Brooklyn, he said.
“She has expensive tastes,’’ Gonzalez noted.
“Through social-media accounts, you can see she routinely purchased and showed off Chanel bags and shoes. A lot of those bags go for an excess of $6 500. … She bragged about luxurious vacations” and was caught on wiretaps ordering a $6,000 bottle of whiskey.
At a press conference Tuesday, authorities displayed other designer items she allegedly bought with the illicit dough: Louis Vuitton bags, a red Miu Miu purse and a yellow Dolce and Gabbana pouch.
Also on display were hoards of shoeboxes — stuffed with $100 bills.
Authorities recovered $700,000 cash in Mirbabayeva’s pad alone during a search Tuesday, said Assistant District Attorney Rebecca Gibson at the suspect’s arraignment.
Gibson asked that Mirbabayeva be held without bail, and the judge agreed.
Meanwhile, “NYPD surgeon” Dr. Robert Vaccarino was also caught up in the sweeping indictment.
He is one of several dozen doctors selected for the honorary title based on their expertise in their field of speciality. Vaccarino is a cardiologist.
The title means they have passed an extensive review process and are called upon to care for cops, including those injured in the line of duty, as well as their immediate families.
Vaccarino was charged with grand larceny and has been implicated 48 different times in the scheme, Gibson said.
“This defendant was a necessary component to the enterprise,” she said at his arraignment, where bail was set at $500,000.
But Vaccarino’s lawyer insisted, “He was not the person running the show. He was a medical provider.’’
Source: New York Post