Brothers behind Lap-Band ads sued

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — UnitedHealth Group Inc. has sued two brothers who ran a company that promoted Lap-Band weight-loss surgery, accusing the pair of defrauding the insurer of more than $40 million through a complex billing scheme.

The Los Angeles Times reports Thursday ( ) that the suit claims the network of surgery centers run by Michael and Julian Omidi tricked the insurer into paying claims for medical procedures that were unnecessary, ineligible for coverage or never even performed.

The Omidis were behind the 1-800-GET-THIN campaign, which advertised for several years on Southern California freeway billboards, radio and television.

UnitedHealth, the nation's largest health insurance company, filed the federal lawsuit Sept. 3 in Los Angeles.

An attorney who represents the surgery centers denied UnitedHealth's allegations and said he would seek to have the lawsuit dismissed.


Information from: Los Angeles Times,

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