Law Enforcement Actions Combat Health Care Fraud Across the Nation

Actions taken in several states have uncovered millions of dollars of health care fraud spanning at least five states. In two Department of Justice (DOJ) releases, DOJ attorneys outline charges against 120 individuals.

In a DOJ release last week, Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division announced action in Detroit, Chicago, and Minnesota against 56 individuals for health care fraud resulting $250 million in loss to the government.

Charges were filed against 20 individuals in the Eastern District of Michigan for their alleged involvement in Medicare fraud schemes resulting in $144.8 million in illegitimate billings.  In the Northern District of Illinois, charges were filed against 12 individuals for their alleged involvement in Medicare fraud schemes resulting in over $103 million in illegitimate billings. In the state of Minnesota, 21 defendants have been charged with defrauding Medicaid for almost $3 million.

At least nine of the individuals charged were doctors or licensed medical professionals.

Two days earlier, a separate DOJ release announced action in Florida and Georgia resulting in 67 individuals across four federal districts being charged with similar crimes. The conduct allegedly resulted in more than $160 million in fraudulent billings.

“The defendants charged today allegedly bilked the American people to the tune of millions in fraudulent billings,” said Assistant Attorney Benczkowski.  “All Americans should stand with the Department as we fight the fight against these unscrupulous schemes in Florida, Georgia, and across the country.”

The DOJ reported that these charges are part of an effort to “aggressively target schemes Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance companies for medically unnecessary procedures, medical procedures that were never provided and prescription medications that often were never purchased and/or distributed to beneficiaries.”

“The drug dealer stereotype involves violent gang members peddling poison in our streets, but often the illicit dealers wear white coats and work in medical offices,” said U.S. Attorney Bobby L. Christine for the Southern District of Georgia.  “People who violate medical oaths and ethical codes to turn illegal profits by fueling the opioid crisis will find prosecutors and investigators working tirelessly to swap their lab coats for prison uniforms.”

Posted in The Takedown

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