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Woman Pleads Guilty In $6M Medicare Scam

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Los Angeles woman has pleaded guilty to involvement in a Medicare fraud scheme that bilked the health system out of nearly $6.3 million.

Prosecutors say 46-year-old Carolyn Ann Vasquez pleaded guilty to conspiracy Monday before a federal judge in Los Angeles. Under a plea bargain, she’s facing up to 10 years in prison.

Authorities say that from 2007 to 2008, Vasquez and others recruited doctors for phony Los Angeles medical clinics, stole their Medicare provider numbers and billed the system for services that the physicians never performed.

Prosecutors say Medicare also was billed for medical equipment, tests and power wheelchairs that were never ordered.

It’s the second such plea for Vasquez. In 1993, she acknowledged involvement in a $41 million telemarketing scheme that targeted government-funded health care programs.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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