A federal grand jury issued subpoenas Tuesday to several of the biggest names in Las Vegas, including prominent doctors and lawyers. George Knapp of the I-Team broke the story and has the exclusive update. More>>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 9:28 PM EDT2013-05-23 01:28:09 GMT
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After more than eight years of delays, a sex offender who worked as a nurse is going to prison for sexually assaulting a 10-year-old patient.More>>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 10:35 PM EDT2013-05-23 02:35:05 GMT
LAS VEGAS -- It's the oldest building on the south end of the Las Vegas Strip. Movies were filmed there, stars got married there, and, on Wednesday, the Little Church of the West turned 70 years old.More>>
It's the oldest building on the south end of the Las Vegas Strip.More>>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 10:00 PM EDT2013-05-23 02:00:29 GMT
LAS VEGAS -- A third person has been charged in the death of an exotic bird at the Flamingo Hotel's wildlife habitat on the Las Vegas Strip. According to the Clark County District Attorney's office, HazhirMore>>
A third person has been charged in the death of an exotic bird at the Flamingo Hotel's wildlife habitat on the Las Vegas Strip.More>>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 9:56 PM EDT2013-05-23 01:56:56 GMT
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Not for the faint of heart, in a couple of months thrill seekers will have a chance to zip between two towers at the Rio resort in Las Vegas.More>>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 9:03 PM EDT2013-05-23 01:03:23 GMT
LAS VEGAS -- A Las Vegas space entrepreneur has signed a deal with NASA that sets the tone for the future of space exploration, including possible bases on the moon. Back in January, Robert Bigelow ofMore>>
A Las Vegas space entrepreneur has signed a deal with NASA that sets the tone for the future of space exploration, including possible bases on the moon.More>>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 8:21 PM EDT2013-05-23 00:21:34 GMT
LAS VEGAS -- For weeks, the Clark County School Board of Trustees has been debating whether to hire a national search firm to scour the country for a new superintendent or keep the search local. TheMore>>
For weeks, the Clark County School Board of Trustees has been debating whether to hire a national search firm to scour the country for a new superintendent or keep the search local.More>>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 7:17 PM EDT2013-05-22 23:17:14 GMT
BOULDER CITY, Nev. -- While many teens are counting down the days until summer break, one teen who survived a tragic accident is happy to be back in the classroom. Giulian Grasso was out of school forMore>>
While many teens are counting down the days until summer break, one teen who survived a tragic accident is happy to be back in the classroom.More>>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 7:15 PM EDT2013-05-22 23:15:37 GMT
LAS VEGAS -- Days after the I-Team revealed abuse claims at Desert Regional Center, a mental health facility, the employee at the center of the allegations was fired. When the I-Team obtained picturesMore>>
Days after the I-Team revealed abuse claims at Desert Regional Center, a mental health facility, the employee at the center of the allegations was fired.More>>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 6:55 PM EDT2013-05-22 22:55:42 GMT
LAS VEGAS -- Nevada Highway Patrol has closed both directions of traffic on U.S. 95 from Las Vegas Boulevard to the Spaghetti Bowl. Motorists are advised to avoid the area. 8 News NOW will have updatesMore>>
Nevada Highway Patrol is reopening both directions of traffic on U.S. 95 from Las Vegas Boulevard to the Spaghetti Bowl about 3:20 p.m. Wednesday.More>>
Federal authorities are moving forward with a conspiracy investigation targeting several of the valley's best-known doctors and lawyer. FBI agents began the probe back in 2003.
Federal prosecutors turned up the heat in front of a grand jury putting some of the most successful doctors and lawyers in Las Vegas in the crosshairs of this investigation. They reportedly called themselves the "Medical Mafia."
The FBI suspects them of conspiring to rip off patients, clients, and insurance companies for tens of millions of dollars. Testimony before a federal grand jury began Tuesday, Feb. 20 and prosecutors paraded more witnesses into the federal building Wednesday, Feb. 21 in preparation for possible indictments. The Channel 8 I-Team was the only news crew on the scene.
Click here to read 'Federal Grand Jury Issues Subpoenas in Insurance Scam,' which contains names of interest to investigators.
The people who've been gliding in and out of the federal building since Tuesday are not rich or famous. They are the alleged victims of the millionaire lawyers and doctors who are suspected of rigging the system to line their own pockets.
FBI agents have reportedly gathered so much information about more than a dozen attorneys and physicians that they weren't sure which cases and charges to pursue. Knowledgeable sources say prosecutors have narrowed their focus to concentrate on cases involving conspiracy.
For example, Cheyenne High School teacher Melodie Simon was paralyzed following two surgeries by two doctors. FBI agents believe the doctors and their two lawyers met with alleged medical fixer Howard Awand and agreed to go after the aenesthesiologist. Agents have been told that Attorney Robert Eglet advised his partner not to worry about a defense expert witness. Sure enough, that witness didn't show for the trial.
The FBI has long suspected that Awand facilitated kickbacks to doctors -- sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars per case -- money taken from settlements or jury awards in injury cases like Melodie Simon's. Simon declined to comment on her case except to say there are about 20 others just like it.
Peggy Lopez won a multimillion-dollar verdict against Sears, Roebuck and Company after her hand was crushed in an accident. Once again, the FBI thinks her doctors and lawyers divyed up the spoils with the help of Awand.
In a wedding ceremony video obtained by the I-Team, Awand makes an inside joke to Attorney Robert Vannah, who is also said to be a possible target. "It will be worth at least four and a half million dollars."
That video, which also shows Robert Eglet and his wife Tracy, another possible target, is now believed to be in the hands of federal prosecutors. Subpoenas for financial records were sent out in November 2005. Since then, some of the attorneys who were served have said they are being targeted because of their success against the insurance industry.
Sources close to the case say prosecutors now have a paper trail to show the flow of money from the lawyers to the doctors, even though records were post dated. And, the I-Team has learned, some of those professionals who were once targets of the probe are now cooperating with prosecutors and are telling the grand jury just how the alleged scheme worked and, more pointedly, who was involved.
At one point in the investigation, the government planned to go after cases in which medical bills were jacked up through the use of unnecessary surgeries. Since experts can disagree on just what is unnecessary, prosecutors are now focusing on what they consider obvious conspiracies.
Grand jury testimony is often a precursor to indictments. However, as a matter of policy, the U.S. Attorney's office will not comment on anything that is before a grand jury.