Five orthopedic product retailers in Lithuania are suspected of defrauding the National Health Insurance Fund (VLK) of at least one million euros, the Financial Crime Investigation Service (FNTT) said on Friday.
FNTT is carrying out an investigation into suspected swindling, fraudulent book-keeping and document forgery.
Suspects' homes, cars and offices were searched in Vilnius, Kaunas, Klaipėda, Panevėžys and Šiauliai regions.
Valerijus Vincukevičius, FNTT's chief officer for the region of Vilnius, told reporters that the investigation concerned the provision of orthopedic appliances to patients.
"These companies are related to one another and engaged in the same business," the official said.
"Documents were falsified to make it appear that the patients were provided with orthopedic products, such as splints and footwear," said Vincukevičius. "In fact, these products were not provided at all, or people were persuaded into taking them, even though they did not need them."
"Sham doctor consultations were performed," he added. Some patients did not even know they had been issued with orthopedic products, according to Vincukevičius.
Starting in early 2018, the five companies falsified documents, official request forms and customers' signatures confirming the receipt of splints, shoes or other orthopedic items, and submitted these documents to VLK, according to FNNT.
The companies are accused of defrauded the fund of at least 1 million euros, FNTT said.