A massive healthcare scam broken up by federal authorities this week netted 24 arrests, including several in New Jersey.

More than $1.2 billion dollars was stolen from Medicare in an elaborate network of doctors bribed to prescribe unnecessary orthopedic braces to hundreds of thousands of elderly patients, according to U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito. Among doctors facing charges in the scam was Joseph DeCoroso, 62, of Toms River.

There also were kickbacks for suspects at companies that make such equipment, Carpenito said, including 59-year-old Neal Williamsky, of Marlboro, and 39-year-old Nadia Levit, of Englishtown.

Williamsky and Levit were owners of 25 "durable medical equipment" (DME) companies that manufacture back, shoulder, wrist and knee braces.

Other suspects were arrested in Florida.

Prosecutors said money from the scheme was laundered through international shell corporations and used to buy yachts, exotic cars and luxury real estate in the United States and abroad.

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