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18 Stats That Prove That Government Dependence Has Reached Epidemic Levels â€“ TheTradingReport
To understand the extent of this fraudulent waste, go no further than Dr. Salomon Melgen, a Florida ophthalmologist who raked in $20.8 million from Medicare in 2012 alone.
Dr. Melgen isn't the only one bathing in the fraud of this crony government program.Medicare dished out over $1 million to almost 4,000 doctors in 2012, according to the new data release analyzed by The Washington Post.
A statement issued by the senator's ...
A statement issued by the senator's office Friday, March 6, 2015, says many false allegations have been made about his ties with Dr. Salomon Melgen, who is a friend and donor to Menendez's campaigns. (AP Photo/Mel Evans, File)
Scrutiny of his ties to Dr. Salomon Melgen, an ophthalmologist, has focused on trips Menendez took to the Dominican Republic aboard Melgen's private plane.
has acknowledged taking several actions that could have appeared to benefit Melgen
, including contacting a Medicare agency to urge changes to a payment policy that had cost Melgen millions of dollars.
The senator's failure to reimburse Melgen
for flights between the Dominican Republic and south Florida and New Jersey on the eye doctor's luxury jet was the first serious signal of his
legal troubles in early 2013.
had flown at least twice in 2010, but the trips went without reimbursement for more than two years.
agreed to reimburse Melgen
The flights were just one vestige of the close relations between Menendez
, a multimillionaire who lavished campaign donations on his friend and allied causes.
has contributed nearly $200,000 to Democratic Party candidates since 1998, including $14,200 to Menendez
And in 2012, during Menendez
's re-election campaign, Melgen
gave $700,000 to a super political action committee that spent more than $580,000 to help Menendez.
Melgen earned renewed scrutiny when government data last year showed he had gotten more money in Medicare reimbursements in 2012 than any other doctor in the country.
A glimpse into the investigation emerged last week, when it was revealed that a federal appeals court had ordered a hearing to determine whether two of Menendez' aides should be compelled to testify before a grand jury about the senator's efforts on behalf of Melgen
The New Jersey Law Journal reported that the appeals court identified two issues: a billing dispute Melgen had with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and a deal he had to sell port screening equipment to the Dominican Republic government.
Dr. Salomon ...
Dr. Salomon Melgen
Dr. Melgen, is an outstanding vitreo retina specialist and recognized expert in his field,who treats those who suffer from Age Related Macular Degeneration, Diabetic Retinopathy, Detached Retinas, Torn Retinas, Flashes and Floaters, and other eye related diseases.
He is the founder of the Melgen Vitreo Retinal Eye Center in West Palm Beach, Port St. Lucie and Delray Beach, Florida.
Dr. Melgen is a renowned philanthropist and VOXXI chairman and co-founder, who made headlines in 2012 when he received a "Lifetime Honorary Member Award" from the Dominican Healthcare Association of Florida on the basis of his professional achievements, personal contribution to the Association and service to the community at large.
Soon after completing his training at Harvard University in 1986, Dr. Melgen, who was born and raised in Dominican Republic, and experienced first hand the struggles of being an immigrant, became the first surgeon to perform outpatient retina surgery in South Florida, and became a pioneer in laser therapy.
pioneering work in the medical field, Dr. Melgen
has been awarded four times as one of the United States' most compassionate doctors.
Because of his
personal experiences when he
arrived to the United States, and thanks to his
philanthropist heart, Dr. Melgen
has been restless in his
efforts to help the Hispanic community in the country, including important health issues affecting Latinos.
Most recently, Dr. Melgen
flew to his country of origin to offer his services to a civil engineer, Francina Hungria Hernandez, 28, who was shot in the face.
helped coordinate her
transfer to the Jackson Memorial Hospital's Bacon Palmer Eye Institute
in Miami, FL, and offered his
professional guidance to help save Hungria's left eye.
Dr. Melgen is an avid advocate for Hispanic rights and an important contributor to the improvement of Hispanic health in the country.
Dr. Salomon Melgen invested ...
Dr. Salomon Melgen invested in Gaseous Fuel Systems Corp. of Weston, Fla., and joined its board of directors in early 2010, according to the company's chief executive and a former company consultant.
GFS, as the company is known, designs, manufactures and sells products to convert diesel-fuel fleets to natural gas.
The amount of Melgen's investment is confidential under rules of the Securities and Exchange Commission, but a 2009 document filed with the SEC showed the company required a minimum individual investment at that time of $51,500.
There is no evidence that Menendez
offered direct help or intervened on behalf of the company or Melgen
Instead, the connection between the two men's interests in natural gas is the latest example of the close symmetry between the senator - who recently rose to become chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee - and his
It illustrates the way Menendez's political clout has at times overlapped with Melgen's
In recent weeks, Menendez
has acknowledged other dealings with Melgen
was compelled to reimburse $58,000 for two flights aboard Melgen's private jet that he
had previously failed to report, prompting scrutiny by the Senate Ethics Committee
Menendez also acknowledged that his office had contacted U.S. health agencies in 2009 and 2012 to question their billing practices and policies amid a dispute between Melgen, an eye specialist, and federal health authorities.
FBI agents in January searched Melgen's
offices in Florida and seized files as part of a criminal investigation.
also raised concerns last year with State and Commerce Department officials about the Dominican Republic's reluctance to enforce a port security contract with a company that Melgen
has never discussed his
involvement with Gaseous Fuel Systems Corp.
with either Sen.
Menendez or his
An SEC document filed last week by GFS showed that Melgen remains on the company's board of directors.
An earlier document filed by the firm in May 2011 was the first to show Melgen
as a director.
That SEC record showed a $6 million investment in the firm from two unnamed individuals.
The company's top executive, Ken Green, said Melgen
is a key investor but has had no influence on the company's decision-making and has not attended any director's meetings since he
joined the firm.
hasn't ever been to our offices, not once," Green told the AP.
But in 2010, when Melgen
first invested in GFS
, the firm was actively considering marketing its natural gas engine devices for on-road vehicles.
has made investments in health-related companies since the 1990s, according to SEC reports, but his
GFS stake is his
only evident natural gas-related investment.
By early 2010, when Melgen formally joined GFS, Menendez had already taken on a key role in backing the natural gas bill, joining Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada and Republican Sen.
Both Muller and Melgen
also have fundraising ties to Menendez
gave $5,000 to Menendez' New Jersey Senate re-election campaign in 2011.
has been a staunch supporter, giving more than $14,000 directly to Menendez
since the late 1990s and, through his
eye clinic, donating $700,000 last year to a "super" political committee that supported Democratic Senate candidates.
About Us â€“ VOXXI | Voxxi
National Latino leader and philanthropist, Dr. Salomon Melgen and renowned journalist and editor, Emilio C. Sánchez founded VOXXI in August 2011.
Dr. Salomon Melgen
Dr. Salomon Melgen
Dr. Salomon Melgen is a national Hispanic leader, world-renowned ophthalmologist and retina specialist, philanthropist and a lifelong advocate for empowering Latinos to achieve the American Dream.
Creating VOXXI was a longtime dream of Dr. Melgen because he wanted to give Latinos a voice, and without a powerful news media on their side, the Hispanic community would be unable to have access to the main power of the nation and influence American public opinion.
"I am very excited about this opportunity to shine a light on the role that Hispanics play in sharing U.S. history.
Hispanic Americans will continue to impact and define the shape of U.S. economic, political and social landscapes and VOXXI.com
will be their voice," said Dr. Melgen