Doctors Accused in Nationwide $432 Million Medicare Fraud

Thursday, 04 Oct 2012 01:53 PM

By Newsmax Wires

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Federal authorities have charged more than 90 people in one of the largest Medicare fraud schemes ever uncovered, they revealed Thursday.

The scheme defrauded the national healthcare scheme for the elderly of some $432 million, CNBC reported.

"Those charged today not only broke the law -- but also violated their professional obligations and sacred oaths as medical practitioners," Attorney General Eric Holder said, as he announced the result of the crackdown.

Holder said one doctor is accused of writing 30,000 prescriptions for 2,000 patients, leading to $100 million in fraud. The accused include "doctors, nurses and other medical professionals," Reuters reported.

Health and Human Servies Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who appeared with Holder at a press conference, said, "Medicare and Medicaid fraud not only costs taxpayers, it threatens the programs."

The worst abuse alleged was based in Miami where 34 people are charged with a little less than half the alleged dollar amount defrauded. Local news reports say the probe was centered on a psychiatric hospital and home health care operation.

The Miami Herald said officials at the hospital are accused of billing the program for bogus treatments.

Many of those charged will appear in court on Thursday afternoon, the Herald added.

Several arrests were made in dawn raids across the country on Thursday. Charges range from healthcare fraud and conspiracy to wire fraud, kickback violations, identity theft and money laundering.

Medical professionals in eight other cities — Los Angeles, Houston, Baton Rouge, La., Brooklyn, NY, Tampa, Fla., Dallas, Chicago and Detroit — were also targeted. CNBC said 14 people in Dallas are accused of $100 million in fraud.

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