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Former Rancho Mirage medical institute director sentenced for $44-million cosmetic surgery scheme

Phil Willon, Los Angeles Times on

Published in News & Features

The former director of a Rancho Mirage medical institute, who was extradited from Israel to the U.S. after fleeing the county, was sentenced to just over eight years in federal prison for a cosmetic surgery scheme that defrauded insurance companies and others out of $44 million.

Linda Morrow, 70, and her physician husband fraudulently submitted bills to insurance companies for "medically necessary" procedures that were, in fact, nose jobs, tummy tucks, breast augmentations and vaginal rejuvenations, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

U.S. District Judge Josephine Staton on Friday said that Linda Morrow's "greed knows no bounds" and, along with the 97-month prison sentence, ordered her to pay $14 million in restitution, according to the federal agency. The same judge in 2020 sentenced Linda Morrow's husband, cosmetic surgeon David M. Morrow, to 20 years in prison for the crimes.

Linda Morrow served as the executive director of the couple's medical company, the Morrow Institute, in the Coachella Valley. According to the company's now-defunct website, David Morrow had an expertise in facelifts and other facial rejuvenation procedures and treatments, and also treated patients in Beverly Hills.

 

The couple fled to Israel in 2017 after being charged for billing insurance companies for procedures that were not covered, defrauding Aetna, Anthem Blue Cross and Cigna Health, as well as some school districts, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Linda Morrow used a fraudulent Mexican passport to enter Israel and a fake Guatemalan passport while living there, according to federal authorities. While there, she also applied for Israeli citizenship using a fake identity. She was extradited to the United States in 2019.

©2022 Los Angeles Times. Visit latimes.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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