A lady who ran a beauty surgical procedure enterprise in southern California along with her husband pleaded responsible Friday to tearing off insurance coverage firms by billing $65 million price of tummy tucks, breast enhancements and nostril jobs as medically vital procedures.
Linda Morrow, 69, admitted that she and her 77-year-old husband, Dr. David Morrow, had falsified medical information and inspired sufferers to bear further surgical procedures as a way to gather insurance coverage funds for elective procedures that might not usually be coated.
Prosecutors mentioned that between 2007 and 2013, the Morrows submitted as much as $65 million in bogus insurance coverage claims and picked up tens of hundreds of thousands in payouts for procedures that shouldn’t have been coated in any respect.
To drag off the fraud, Linda Morrow, who served as the manager director of the Morrow Institute in Rancho Mirage, would alter medical information to invoice tummy tucks as hernia restore or stomach reconstruction surgical procedures, nostril jobs as deviated septum restore surgical procedures; and breast enlargements as surgical procedures to appropriate tuberous breast deformity.
The couple would actively market their companies as coverable underneath insurance coverage, and would instruct sufferers to falsely fill out medical types claiming that they had come to the clinic to obtain medically vital therapies, prosecutors mentioned.
“THESE instances are GOLD!!!” David Morrow allegedly wrote to his spouse in an e mail in 2009, based on court docket papers.
The couple would additionally persuade sufferers to bear a number of procedures without delay as a way to maximize the quantity that might be billed to the insurance coverage firms, prosecutors mentioned. In some instances, sufferers suffered severe problems attributable to having too many procedures carried out on the similar time, investigators mentioned.
A message left with Linda Morrow’s legal professional wasn’t instantly returned.
Ultimately, most of the main insurance coverage firms grew to become suspicious and stopped paying out on claims, so the couple started focusing on sufferers who had insurance coverage by way of labor unions or for working for municipalities, based on court docket papers.
The couple have been charged with fraud in 2015, and after David Morrow pleaded responsible the next 12 months, they fled to Mexico and in the end absconded to Israel utilizing fraudulent Mexican passports. Prosecutors mentioned that the couple had quietly bought their Beverly Hills mansion for $9.75 million whereas awaiting trial and had moved $4 million of it to accounts in Israel.
Whereas there, they lived underneath assumed identities with false Guatemalan passports, however when Israeli authorities found out what had occurred, the pair have been extradited again to the U.S. in 2019.
David Morrow is presently serving a 20-year sentence. Linda Morrow, who has been in custody since 2019, faces as much as 20 years in jail when she is sentenced in July.