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Wherever Bob Menendez goes, corruption isn't far behind. And it looks like that buying himself a pet U.S. Senator isn't going to help Salomon Melgen avoid prison.
New federal charges of Medicare fraud involving tens of millions of dollars were filed late Tuesday against Salomon Melgen, the Florida eye specialist who was indicted earlier this month with U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez for allegedly bribing the senator in exchange for help with financial and personal matters, including a Medicare billing dispute.
Bob says "billing dispute," the Justice Department says "fraud." With a capital "F."
The new charges, contained in a 76-count indictment handed up in Florida, accuse Melgen of falsely diagnosing patients with a potentially blinding eye disease and then fraudulently billing Medicare for doses of an expensive drug he did not buy, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office for Southern Florida.
Between January 2008 and December 2013, the release said, Melgen billed Medicare for more than $190 million and his company, Vitreo-Retinal Consultants of the Palm Beaches, was reimbursed more than $105 million. Prosecutors said that "a substantial portion of these reimbursed payments were allegedly obtained through fraudulent billing.""Patients fearing blindness sought treatment from Dr. Melgen's office," said Shimon Richmond, special agent in charge of the Miami office of the inspector general for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. "Instead, they allegedly received medically unreasonable and unnecessary tests and procedures for which they and taxpayers paid millions of dollars."
And coincidentally, some of those millions found their way into Bob Menendez's pocket, as well as into the coffers of the DNC.
Reached late Tuesday, Tricia Enright, a spokeswoman for Menendez, said of Melgen's new indictment: "The senator knows nothing about this. It has nothing to do with the senator's case."
Dr. Melgen should've bought a dog instead of a Senator. At least then he'd
still have a friend.
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