Medicare Fraud Strike Force charges 243 people in nationwide sweep

Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell and Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch announced a nationwide sweep on June 18, led by the Medicare Fraud Strike Force in 17 districts, which ended in charges against 243 people.

Forty-six doctors, nurses and other licensed medical professionals were included in the 243 charges: for their suspected participation in Medicare fraud schemes that involved approximately $712 million in false billings.

“This action represents the largest criminal healthcare fraud takedown in the history of the Department of Justice, and it adds to an already remarkable record of enforcement,” Lynch said. “The defendants charged include doctors, patient recruiters, home healthcare providers, pharmacy owners and others. They billed for equipment that wasn’t provided, for care that wasn’t needed and for services that weren’t rendered.”

The defendants are charged with various crimes, including conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud, violations of the anti-kickback statutes, money laundering and aggravated identity theft.

“In the days ahead, the Department of Justice will continue our focus on preventing wrongdoing and prosecuting those whose criminal activity drives up medical costs and jeopardizes a system that our citizens trust with their lives,” Lynch said. “We are prepared -- and I am personally determined -- to continue working with our federal, state and local partners to bring about the vital progress that all Americans deserve.”

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