New York doctor faces jail for $31m insurance scheme where he operated on homeless and drug addicts

A New York City doctor has pleaded guilty to participating in an evil scheme to perform unnecessary surgeries on poor, destitute patients, some of whom were drug addicts, in order to rip off insurance companies.

Dr. Sady Ribeiro, 72, a physician and surgeon specializing in pain management, pleaded guilty on Thursday to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with a convoluted insurance scheme that has earned him millions.

Ribeiro follows Adrian Alexander, 77, in pleading guilty to the scam.

Alexander was the owner of a litigation fund company that also spearheaded the Travel and Drop Program, which got more than 400 homeless and drug-addicted patients to undergo surgeries they didn’t need. no need so men can take reimbursements from insurance companies.

According to a federal indictment, Ribeiro and Alexander led a extensive insurance fraud scheme through which participants staged tripping and falling accidents and later filed fraudulent lawsuits that enriched the two men to the tune of $31 million.

Emergency medical technicians help an elderly homeless man off the street and into an ambulance on Canal Street in Lower Manhattan

New York's homelessness crisis has grown dramatically in recent years

New York’s homelessness crisis has grown dramatically in recent years

Homeless people in New York were targeted by Ribeiro and his colleagues to become fraudulent patients participating in their insurance plan

Homeless people in New York were targeted by Ribeiro and his colleagues to become fraudulent patients participating in their insurance plan

Ribeiro performed unnecessary surgeries on nearly 200 destitute patients

Ribeiro performed unnecessary surgeries on nearly 200 destitute patients

Ribeiro and Alexander recruited patients to stage or falsely claim to have fallen in New York locations; crash sites would often be in places like sidewalk basement doors, potholes, and cracks in city sidewalks.

The patients were then referred to personal injury lawyers who filed fraudulent lawsuits against the site owners or their insurance companies. Patients were also instructed to receive ongoing medical care and chiropractic treatment from specific medical professionals, including Ribeiro.

The patient-victims were told that in order to move forward with their lawsuits, they had to undergo unnecessary surgery, which Ribeiro performed.

Poor patients were usually enticed into undergoing unnecessary back surgeries with payments of between $1,000 and $1,500. Patients usually had to undergo two surgeries.

Legal and medical costs were paid for by the litigation funding service that Alexander owned and operated, which charged patients up to 50% on medical loans and 100% on personal loans.

Incredibly high interest rates meant that the vast majority of proceeds from fraudulent lawsuits went to deceptive doctors, lawyers and businessmen.

More than 400 desperate people were tricked into becoming fraudulent patients, and Ribeiro performed back surgeries and other medical treatments on nearly 200 of them.

To maximize his own financial gain, Ribeiro paid participants additional bribes for patient referrals.

The people recruited for the massive scam were poor enough to agree to undergo unnecessary surgery in exchange for relatively small postoperative payments.

According to the Ministry of Justice, most patients did not have enough clothes to keep them warm during the winter. Their shoes were flimsy and falling apart. And many of them asked for food when they showed up for their admissions meetings with lawyers.

Members of the team perpetuating the fraud would also recruit patients from the city’s homeless shelters.

The crimes to which Ribeiro has pleaded guilty carry a maximum sentence of 10 years – five on each count. Alexander previously pleaded guilty to a single count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

Ribeiro also agreed to confiscate more than $500,000 from the US government and to make restitution in the amount of nearly $4 million.

US Attorney Damian Williams for the Southern District of New York, where the pair have been charged, said: “As alleged, Sady Ribeiro abused his professional license and position of trust by performing medically unnecessary surgeries. to increase the value of fraudulent trips and- fall pursuits.

“By executing the scheme, Adrian Alexander, who funded numerous fraudulent lawsuits, Sady Ribeiro, and their co-conspirators preyed on the most vulnerable members of society in order to enrich themselves.” Ribeiro and Alexander now await sentencing for their reprehensible crimes.

Ribeiro is expected to be sentenced on January 5, 2023 and Alexander on November 30 this year.

Ribeiro could face a sentence of up to 10 years for his part in the scheme targeting homeless people and victims of fraud and insurance companies to the tune of $31 million.

Ribeiro could face a sentence of up to 10 years for his part in the scheme targeting homeless people and victims of fraud and insurance companies to the tune of $31 million.

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