September 7th, 2011
03:19 PM ET

Justice Department charges 91 in $295 million Medicare fraud scheme

The Justice Department on Wednesday announced charges against 91 people including doctors, nurses and other medical professionals allegedly involved in a nationwide Medicare fraud scheme in eight cities totaling $295 million in false billing.

“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,” Attorney General Eric Holder said in a press release. “Our highly coordinated, nationwide Strike Force operations are working aggressively to combat Medicare fraud and our anti-health care fraud efforts have never been more innovative, collaborative, aggressive – or effective. We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners and partners across government to fight against health care fraud.”

According to the Justice Department those charged are accused of a variety of fraud-related crimes including conspiracy to defraud the Medicare program, health care fraud, violations of the anti-kickback statutes and money laundering. The scheme involved home health care, physical and occupational therapy, mental health services, psychotherapy and durable medical equipment services, the Justice Department said.

“Today’s arrests are a powerful warning to those who would try to defraud taxpayers and Medicare beneficiaries,” Health and Human Service Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a press release. "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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Filed under: Health
soundoff (132 Responses)
  1. max

    the first thing in basic reporting is WHO

    September 7, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • conradshull

      You probably noticed it doesn't take much to be a "reporter" these days. Repeater is a better term.

      September 7, 2011 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • f

      First is WHO, second is WHERE, third should be ..were they actually arrested or just found out? 91 were charged. How many were really arrested? How many skipped off to the Cayman Islands with the govts money?

      September 7, 2011 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • pam

      Yeah WHO and where?????

      September 7, 2011 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Edward R. Murrow

      It's Who, What Where, When , Why and How. To be precise.

      September 7, 2011 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • PeeMan

      @ Edward R. Murrow
      You are my favorite Journalist of ALL time, I love you to pieces dude

      September 7, 2011 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
  2. LDRP

    A lot of these participants are fraudulant home health agencies and medical supply companies. They aren't necessarily doctors at all. Many of them bill for services never rendered, indeed from clinics and supply companies that don't really exist. And yes, many are foriegners. It's just another form of organized crime.

    September 7, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Eric

    LOL @ all the racists assuming they are all foreign nationals. Thank you progression and forward thinking for all the wonderful attuned southerner's you have given us.

    HINT: Rick Perry is an American and has done more damage to Medicare then all the "foreigner's" in this article combined and multiplied times ten.

    September 7, 2011 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • ME

      HEY, shutup about perry, no one cares, he won't win.

      September 7, 2011 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Patriots122

      Oh yeah???

      Check NY Times first, part of which says..

      "The leader of the gang was identified as Armen Kazarian, of Los Angeles, and described as a vor, an Armenian term roughly translated as “thief-in-law” and likened to a Mafia godfather. The analogy was one of several invocations of the traditional Mob made at a news conference in Manhattan on Wednesday, with Mr. Bharara calling the case “the envy of any traditional Mafia family.” ............

      Doh!

      September 7, 2011 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
  4. MsMHS

    It would be nice if DOJ or CNN gave us readers the names of those found guilty of this fraud. I, for one, would make sure I never saw that medical person again. Why aren't the names of these 91 persons or corporations given to us?

    September 7, 2011 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fred Evil

      May have something to do with the only being CHARGED, and not FOUND GUILTY.
      I'm glad to see fraud and corruption being found and eliminated!!

      September 7, 2011 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jesus Cristo

    Blame the illegals on this one...

    September 7, 2011 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Madasbell

    MEDICARE IS A SCHEME along with the congressional thugs and their financial hitmen the IRS trash! And as for that phony Holden, he no more gives a darn about taxpayers than the man on mars! Cause if he really cared he stopped fraudulent thugs like Roni whitetrash Deutch and others like her from taking already desperate citizens monies for tax problems THEY make worse and this corrupt congress and the IRS enabled such trash scammers to do that! Medicare and for that reason ALL federal agencies are corrupt and need to be replaced NOW. Medicare in fact encourages such fraud by helping their pals (private vendors that specialize in electronic claims and records) get contracts at the doctors' expense rather than medicare/cms THEMSELVES providing the service free especially since they are the ones demanding we do everything on computers! It is no wonder providers are trying to profit as much as they can when they have so much overhead to work with! Not to mention medicare/cms paying THOUSANDS of dollars as incentives to get doctors to switch all medical records to "exposed to the world wide web" electronic ones! Whose the real crooks, huh? If health professionals go down than this corrupt, broken medicare program should go as well and first AND hard!

    September 7, 2011 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Sagebrush Shorty

    Good, it's about time.

    September 7, 2011 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Fraud In Place

    the medicare, medicaid and social security disability systems are filled with fraud and waste. The government catches only a small % due to lack of numbers, payoffs and poor diligence.

    September 7, 2011 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Thieves

    Thieves like these Doctors, along with fraudulent lawsuits/malpractice, are why our Health care is so expensive and horrible today. Please prosecute these criminals to the FULLEST extent of the law.

    The american taxpayer is tired of being on the losing end of things due to a few unscrupulous members of society!

    September 7, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
  10. swhammelman

    What are the 8 cities & persons names?

    September 7, 2011 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
  11. justathought

    @THINK3:52 Agreed, I'll bet if they could investigste the Feds they would find a whole lot of cover-ups! Remember way back, I think it was sometime in the mid 80,s when it was discovered that government suppliers were charging way over the cost of some items? Do you think it has stopped?

    September 7, 2011 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
  12. NoTags

    If these people are convicted the Government needs to seize all their assets including assets they can prove were purchased with money derived from the fraud and sell them to recover some of the money. Then they should go to prison for a lengthy stay, plus lose any medical licenses, etc.

    September 7, 2011 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Jesus Cristo

    Stealing from the American people should be a hanging offense...

    September 7, 2011 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
  14. freddy

    So what exactly did they do? What kind of reporting is this-

    September 7, 2011 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Iwonderwhy

    Guess the doctors forgot to pay off the Justice Department like the crooks on Wall Street do.

    September 7, 2011 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
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