Bone Marrow Campaign Used Beautiful Women To Entice Men To Be Tested
BOSTON — On its face, it seemed reasonable enough: a bone marrow registry sending recruiters to malls, ballparks and other busy sites to enlist potential donors.
But the recruiters were actually flirtatious models in heels, short skirts and lab coats, law enforcement officials say, asking passers-by for DNA swabs without mentioning the price of the seemingly simple procedure. And the registry, Caitlin Raymond International, was paying up to $60,000 a week for the models while billing insurance companies up to $4,300 per test.
“The models worked the crowds, if you will,” he said. “We were told basically they would engage a lot of younger men with some sort of flirtatious thing: ‘Hey, don’t you want to be a hero? Come on, do this!’ ”
If people expressed interest, Mr. Boffetti said, the models — who, for reasons that remain unclear, sometimes also wore electric-blue wigs — would hand them off to registry employees who would take mouth swabs.
“They got people to do this without telling them it could be a charge of $4,300 against their insurance,” he said.
Okay so there might have been fraud here but, as the saying goes, sex sells.