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. Rod C. Venger

    "Swiftly"? I'm guessing that this was going on for many years.

    How is it that Holder could be pried out of his office to make a statement on healthcare fraud but he can't be bothered to address the issues surrounding "Fast and Furious" and a dead Border Patrol Agent? $295 million, while a lot of money, is barely a blip on the budget bottom line. Ask anyone that works with hundreds of billions and trillions. But the weapons that ATF allowed across the border have so far ended the lives of at least 1000 people. Holder has strange priorities.

    September 7, 2011 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • hilo, HI

      Also, not real talk re SEIZING ASSETS to recoup OUR MONEY.

      September 7, 2011 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
  2. William

    I've been in the healthcare field all of my working career, and medicare and medicaid are a "feeding trough" for the whole batch of halthcare providers. Government dollars are there just for the taking.

    September 7, 2011 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
  3. DeeNYC

    Now lets see them put some bank presidents and Brokerage house execs in jail.

    September 7, 2011 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Rick

    91 Low life Americans, I hope their lifes are ruined forever.

    September 7, 2011 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
  5. CBR

    Another set of comments which do not include factual information, accuse the Attorney General of neglecting THEIR issue, bringing in a little bit of racism, antimedical profession and quite a bit of hateful just plain hateful remarks. Our we incapable of discussing anything anymore? Thanks CNN for allowing this very unusual opportunity to communicate which neither helps the ause nor is contians factual information.

    September 7, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  6. GwatS

    I wonder how many of those electric wheelchairs were obtained under false pretenses?

    September 7, 2011 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
  7. NoTags

    Notice this is a very short article, but everyone is starting to sound like an owl, saying who, who, who. Did any of you asking who, who, who stop to think that the Justice Department may not have released their names at this time? The writer of the article may not have names to release.

    September 7, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
  8. al in memphis

    Fraud and greed– I wonder how much of the budget deficit can be contributed to that when you look at all the industries that feed on the taxpayer bank account. Let either the IRS or Mafia administer the auditing parts of the approrpriation programs, you'd get some budget reduction then.

    September 7, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Paul

    This is just the setup for the gov to totally kill medicare/medicaid.

    September 7, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Roger Ogilivy Thornhill

    If I were dictator, these 91 people would become organ donors moments after they have been found guilty.

    September 7, 2011 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Tina Gray

    It is too easy for medical suppliers and providers to take advantage of the system. I have been in nursing for 30 years and have seen so much waste, duplicate billing, over billing, kickbacks, etc. it makes me sick. And yes, I have reported it each time.

    September 7, 2011 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Frank

    Why is this on a blog report? It's #1 most popular story on BBC, why doesn't CNN think it's worth reporting?

    September 7, 2011 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
  13. David Buster

    Word on the street says that those who were caught were all Tea Party memebers.

    September 7, 2011 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
  14. rastaman44

    Good job, Holder. Go after medicare and medicaid fraud. Bravo!!!

    September 7, 2011 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
  15. raven

    Ive never had to use any govt aid (knock wood) but I have had to work my butt off. It infuriates me that these health care (ahem)professionals are stealing from the coffers driving the cost for services UP. Greed, Greed, Greed. Its just never enough.

    September 7, 2011 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
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