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Feds Bust 91 in Nationwide $295 Mil Medicare Fraud Crackdown

FBI Executive Assistant Director Shawn Henry, left, is joined by Attorney General Eric Holder and HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in announcing a nationwide Medicare fraud takedown operation./fbi photo

 By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Medicare fraud, which helps zap government funding for healthcare, was at front center on Wednesday when the Justice Department announced a nationwide crackdown that resulted in charges against 91 people who were involved in roughly $295 million in false billings. Authorities said in Miami alone, 45 people—including a doctor and a nurse—were charged for their roles in fraud involving $159 million in false Medicare bills in the areas of home health care, mental health services, occupational and physical therapy, durable medical equipment, and HIV infusion. In Los Angeles, six defendants—including one doctor—were charged for their roles in schemes to defraud Medicare of more than $10.7 million. And in Brooklyn, three defendants—including two doctors—were charged in a fraud scheme involving more than $3.4 million in false claims for medically unnecessary physical therapy, authorities said. “The defendants charged in this takedown are accused of stealing precious taxpayer resources and defrauding Medicare – jeopardizing the integrity of our health care system and our nation’s most critical health care program for personal gain,” said Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. said in a statement. “Today’s arrests are a powerful warning to those who would try to defraud taxpayers and Medicare beneficiaries,” added Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “These arrests illustrate close cooperation between the Medicare program that identified these fraudsters and the law enforcement officials who acted swiftly to cut them off. And our efforts to stop criminals don’t end here because the Affordable Care Act gives us new tools to prevent Medicare fraud before it is committed – better protecting seniors and the integrity of the Medicare program for generations to come.”

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