Feds charge 601 suspects in biggest healthcare fraud raid to date

Federal officials charged 601 defendants in alleged schemes involving about $2 billion in costs to Medicare and Medicaid, the biggest healthcare fraud enforcement action in U.S. Justice Department history, according to the department and HHS Office of Inspector General.

This latest takedown is the largest national healthcare fraud raid to date by the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, which was established in 2007 and includes state and federal law enforcement.

The defendants, located across 58 federal districts, include 165 physicians, nurses and other licensed medical professionals. They are accused of submitting false claims to Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare (a program that offers insurance coverage to U.S. military members, veterans and their families), and private insurance companies.

The alleged schemes involved medically unnecessary prescription narcotics that often were not distributed to patients, according to the Justice Department. Federal officials said they also involved patient recruiters, beneficiaries and other co-conspirators paying kickbacks in return for providing beneficiary information to providers so providers could submit false Medicare claims. 

The strike force location with the most suspects charged was the Southern District of Florida, where 124 defendants were accused of participating in schemes involving more than $337 million in false billings.

Suspects also were charged in various states including California,Texas, Michigan, Illinois and New York.

For a full breakdown of the locations where defendants were charged, click here


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