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Jeff Sessions announces largest healthcare fraud takedown in United States history

Jeff Sessions announces largest healthcare fraud takedown in United States history

"Health care fraud schemes cost Americans billions of dollars every year through higher premiums and tax money stolen from public programs, such as Medicare", First Assistant U.S. Attorney Tracy L. Wilkison said.

One set of charges in Florida details what prosecutors described as $106 million in fraudulent claims for substance abuse treatment in a scheme that involved "widespread fraudulent urine testing".

Federal agencies on Thursday announced charges in what Attorney General Jeff Sessions called "the largest health care fraud takedown in American history", an investigation into over $2 billion in alleged fraud by doctors, pharmacists, and nurses.

Among the accused are 76 doctors, 23 pharmacists and 19 nurses.

Some of the doctors were charged with prescribing and distributing opioids and other narcotics.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the epidemic caused more than 42,000 deaths from opioid overdoses in the United States in 2016. Steiner, who operated a mental health and opioid addiction practice, prescribed medically unnecessary drugs and unlawfully distributed opiates, Coleman said. The cases allege health care fraud and kickback scams involving surgeries, compounded drugs, home health services, Medicare Part D prescription drugs and hospice care. These are despicable crimes.

This announcement appears to reflect both an ongoing commitment by the DOJ to prosecute health care fraud and opioid abuse cases, and that the emphasis by HHS on administratively excluding providers has become a part of the enforcement landscape over the past year. That's why this Department of Justice has taken historic new steps to go after fraudsters, including hiring more prosecutors and leveraging the power of data analytics. Crosby is accused of paying an alleged co-conspirator to recruit patients by promising them cash or other inducements, and Crosby allegedly billed for services not rendered, they said. Officials said Ruiz operated a false-front pharmacy where he stole and used the identities of patients and doctors to bill for prescriptions that patients never received, resulting in approximately $858,000 being paid out in fraudulent proceeds.

The U.S. Attorney's Office, through separate informations filed in U.S. District Court, and all with associated plea agreements charged Global Operations Manager JEFFREY SOUTH, District Manager ANGIE NELSON, sales representatives RODDRICK BOYKIN and DAWN WHITTEN, and biller STACEY CARDOZO.

Dr. Chandra Reddy and his wife Vinodini Reddy were charged with two counts conspiracy to commit health care fraud and one count of conspiracy for making false statements.

Erving Rodriguez: charged with one count of conspiracy to solicit and receive health care kickbacks.

The FBI, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, HHS-OIG, DCIS and IRS-CI, investigated the Global cases, which Assistant U.S. Attorneys Chinelo Dike-Minor, Don Long and Nicole Grosnoff are prosecuting. The Medicare Fraud Strike Force operates in 10 locations nationwide.

In the Los Angeles area, most of the defendants were charged for taking part in schemes to defraud Medicare and other health insurance programs.

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