Sunday, 21. December 2014
18. 07. 14. - 16:00
Romanian prosecutors are dragging a Who's Who of the country's female celebrities into court for a high-profile fraud trial in which medics are accused of taking payments on the side for breast implant surgeries.
Those accused allegedly took illegal cash payments for plastic surgery from female clients, and then registered the operations as necessary corrective surgery when in fact they were all for cosmetic reasons, meaning the state also paid for them to carry it out.
A spokesman for the state prosecutor said: "They were doing all the usual surgical procedures offered by private clinic like liposuction, breast enlargements and lip enhancements, but then they were claiming that the operations was something different in order to make sure they got paid by the state health service."
Police investigators told the court that after recording conversations between the medics and staff they had eventually raided 23 locations in the capital Bucharest including the Emergency Hospital for Plastic Surgery and Burns, where plastic surgery operations were often put through as corrective surgery for people suffering from horrific injuries.
During the raids at that hospital police arrested surgeon Cristina Isac who is accused of earning 7000 EUR (5500 GBP) a day from illegal breast enlargement operations, as well as the hospital's director and the chief of surgery. Isac, 37, was in custody for two months while the investigation was ongoing.
The court heard that the other doctors involved in the fraud were subsidising their 500 EUR (400 GBP) a month salaries with up to 20,000 EUR (16,000 GBP) a month in cash payments from private patients who were undergoing the illegal operations.
The doctors accused of being involved in the scam includes Romania's leading plastic surgeon Vitalie Stan, one of the few Romanian professionals who has never had a complaint about his work.
His clients have included models blonde Florentina Raiciu, and brunette Raluca Dumitru, who regularly grace the front covers of magazines and are frequently seen on catwalks and television shows in the country.
The case has also dragged in other Romanian celebrities like the Romanian singer Anda Adam and the society girls Ana Maria and Daniela Crudu, who are all being asked to give evidence in the high profile case.
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