NEW YORK (AP) - New York City authorities have charged nine doctors and 14 others in a Medicaid scam they say exploited down-and-out people who needed new shoes.

NEW YORK (AP) New York City authorities have charged nine doctors and 14 others in a Medicaid scam they say exploited down-and-out people who needed new shoes.

Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson announced the arrests Tuesday following an undercover investigation that began in 2012.

Prosecutors say the defendants were part of a ring that recruited people outside homeless shelters, soup kitchens and welfare centers.

They say the recruits were directed to clinics where corrupt physicians diagnosed phony ailments. In return, they got their pick of cheap, off-brand sneakers, shoes and boots.

Authorities say the ring billed Medicaid for nearly $7 million in unnecessary medical tests and devices like ankle braces and special insoles.