On Trial Background


Exploiting Seniors “His schemes involved convincing elderly patients on Medicare to undergo macular degeneration treatments that were not medically necessary, prescribing overpriced drugs, and falsifying records. Medicare paid for all services to these patients, resulting in millions of dollars in profit to Melgen. In 2012 alone, he received $21 million from Medicare, the highest of any doctor in the country.”
Patients Permanently Blinded By Melgen “So, in a terrible twist of irony, patients with relatively healthy eyes like Belcher and Constantine were falsely diagnosed with age-related vision loss. Then they were treated using unreasonable and unnecessary procedures, the results of which led to their actual, permanent blindness. All for the greed of a single man, who used the profits to buy a private jet, an estate in the Dominican Republic, and a yacht, among other lavish lifestyle enhancers.”
Blinded Elderly Patients to Defraud Medicare “His alleged scheme was simple: convince elderly patients to undergo macular degeneration treatments they might not need, treat said patients with expensive drugs, and make Medicare pay for it.”
Truly Horrific, Barbaric & Inhumane “Salomon Melgen, who was convicted April 28 of defrauding Medicare, deserves a long prison term for crimes that were ‘truly horrific,’ ‘barbaric’ and ‘inhumane’ and that allowed him to live luxuriously, prosecutors wrote Tuesday. He’s to be sentenced next week in federal court in Florida.”
Lasering Patients’ Eyes “But soon after Melgen began working at the Aker Kasten Eye Center in 2002, optometrists began voicing concern that every patient Melgen examined was receiving a diagnosis of wet macular degeneration and being zapped with lasers, Aker said. ‘That was what was unsettling,’ Aker this week told a federal jury that will decided whether Melgen bilked Medicare out of as much as $105 million. ‘It seemed there was an epidemic of wet macular degeneration with these patients.”‘
Menendez “Sorry” for His Friend “A lawyer for Mr. Menendez said that the senator was ‘saddened for his longtime friend.’”
Corrupt Pay-for-Play Politics “Topping the list is Dr. Salomon E. Melgen, 59, an ophthalmologist from North Palm Beach, Fla., who received $21 million in Medicare reimbursements in 2012 alone. The doctor billed a bulk of his reimbursements for Lucentis, a medication used to treat macular degeneration made by a company that pays generous rebates to its doctors. Dr. Melgen’s firm donated more than $700,000 to Majority PAC, a super PAC run by former aides to the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada. The super PAC then spent $600,000 to help re-elect Senator Robert Menendez, Democrat of New Jersey, who is a close friend of Dr. Melgen’s. Last year, Mr. Menendez himself became a target of investigation after the senator intervened on behalf of Dr. Melgen with federal officials and took flights on his private jet.”

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