Woman Pleads Guilty in Cosmetic Surgery Scam

SANTA ANA (CNS) – A former Rancho Mirage woman, who fled to Israel following her indictment, pleaded guilty in federal court in Santa Ana today to bilking insurance companies out of millions of dollars for cosmetic surgery she falsely claimed were medically necessary.

Linda Morrow, 69, pleaded guilty to a count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and that she helped her 77-year-old husband, Dr. David M. Morrow, who is serving a 20-year sentence in federal prison, run the phony billing scheme out of the Morrow Institute in Rancho Mirage, prosecutors said.

Linda Morrow also admitted a count of contempt of court related to her flight with her husband in 2017 while under indictment to Israel. She was deported from Israel in 2019 when authorities determined she got into the country with a bogus Mexican passport, prosecutors said.

U.S. District Judge Josephine Staton scheduled sentencing for July 1. David Morrow pleaded guilty in 2016 and was out on bail when he fled with his wife, but he was sentenced to 200 years in prison while on the lam, prosecutors said.

Linda Morrow would send bills to insurance companies for cosmetic surgery such as tummy tucks, nose jobs and breast implants that she falsely billed as medically necessary, prosecutors said. The scheme attempted to steal between $25 million to $65 million, prosecutors said.

Some of the victims in the case were school districts that were self- insured and received bills, prosecutors said. The couple also pushed patients to sign testimonials containing false information and Linda Morrow admitted in her plea deal that she coached the patients in the phony testimonials, prosecutors said.

Linda Morrow transferred $4 million to bank accounts she had in Israel and applied for citizenship there, prosecutors said.

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