301 individuals charged in $900M Medicare fraud crackdown

The Medicare Fraud Strike Force set a new record this year for the largest takedown against medical professionals attempting to defraud Medicare, according to the Department of Justice.  

This year's sweep resulted in criminal and civil charges against 301 individuals, including 61 physicians, nurses and other licensed medical professionals for allegedly participating in schemes involving $900 million in false billings. This beats last year's record setting numbers for defendants charged and alleged loss amount of 243 individuals and $712 million in false billings. 

Medicare Fraud Control units from 23 states participated in the arrests. Charges against the defendants include conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud, violations of the Anti-Kickback Statute, money laundering and aggravated identity theft. 

"As this takedown should make clear, healthcare fraud is not an abstract violation or benign offense — it is a serious crime," Attorney General Loretta Lynch said in a statement. "The wrongdoers that we pursue in these operations seek to use public funds for private enrichment.  They target real people — many of them in need of significant medical care. They promise effective cures and therapies, but they provide none. Above all, they abuse basic bonds of trust — between doctor and patient; between pharmacist and doctor; between taxpayer and government — and pervert them to their own ends. The [DOJ] is determined to continue working to ensure that the American people know that their healthcare system works for them — and them alone."

The DOJ says more than 2,900 individuals involved with more than $8.9 billion in false billings have been charged by the Medicare Fraud Strike Force since its inception in 2007. Almost 1,200 individuals have been charged to date in national takedown operations, totaling more than $3.4 billion in fraudulent billings. 

 

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