Thursday, August 20, 2009

Vegas Lawyers, Doctors, Accused of Massive Fraud

This story will make you sick. Fortune reported, "Prosecutors charge that a group of top Las Vegas plaintiffs lawyers and doctors, with the 64-year-old [Howard] Awand at its center, conspired in an audacious fraud. ... Unwitting accident victims were recruited as plaintiffs and then persuaded to undergo serious, sometimes needless, surgeries. The procedures, in turn, helped inflate the size of personal-injury claims. The result was multimillion-dollar insurance settlements, even for dubious cases, and lucrative fees for the doctors, the lawyers, and, of course, Howard Awand." According to government evidence, "the group coordinated their testimony as expert witnesses, lied under oath, protected one another from malpractice lawsuits -- even after the surgeries left a few patients paralyzed -- and ate away at the plaintiffs' settlement money with kickbacks disguised as contingency fees."

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