601 People Criminally Charged in National Health Care Fraud Takedown
The Department of Justice recently announced the largest health care fraud enforcement action in U.S. history, which involves 601 defendants charged with crimes in 58 federal districts. Defendants include 165 doctors, nurses, and other licensed medical professionals. Charges are for participation in health care fraud schemes involving more than $2 billion in false billing and other federal crimes.
According to court documents, the defendants allegedly participated in health care fraud schemes to submit claims to Medicare, Medicaid, TRICARE, and private insurance companies for treatments that were either medically unnecessary or never provided. Other crimes charged include money laundering, kickbacks, and the unlawful prescribing or distributing of opioids or other dangerous drugs. Patient recruiters and other co-conspirators were allegedly paid cash kickbacks for supplying beneficiary information to providers so false bills could be submitted to public health care programs.
The DOJ admits to focusing its enforcement actions on medical professionals, stating: “The charges also involve individuals contributing to the opioid epidemic, with a particular focus on medical professionals involved in the unlawful distribution of opioids and other prescription narcotics, a particular focus for the Department.”
Attorney General Jeff Sessions said, “this Department of Justice has taken historic new steps to go after fraudsters, including hiring more prosecutors and leveraging the power of data analytics. … … This is the most fraud, the most defendants, and the most doctors ever charged in a single operation–and we have evidence that our ongoing work has stopped or prevented billions of dollars’ worth of fraud.” He went on to say, “By every measure we are more effective at finding and prosecuting medical fraud than ever.”
The government is allocating significant resources to go after alleged health care fraud, particularly schemes that involve opioids. This massive, unprecedented national health care fraud takedown involved numerous law enforcement agencies and operations, including the DOJ, DEA, FBI, HHS, all 10 units of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, thirty state Medicaid Fraud Control Units, and various federal law enforcement agencies.
Consider that in just one year, from July 2017 to June 2018, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has excluded 587 medical providers from participation in Medicare, Medicaid, and all other Federal health care programs, for conduct related to opioid diversion and abuse.
Health Care Fraud Criminal Defense Attorney
In the government’s zeal to prosecute alleged health care fraud schemes, officials may unfairly target honest people. Perhaps your rights were violated during the investigation. Here at Ashley D. Adams, PLC we zealously defend all types of fraud charges.
As a former fraud prosecutor with the United States Attorney’s Office, Ashley D. Adams understands the government’s tactics and knows how to establish the best possible defense for your case.
There is no white collar criminal case that is too complex or too challenging for our criminal defense law firm. No matter how difficult your case may appear, we are prepared to defend you and provide the legal protection you need. We will fight back for you and protect your rights.
Contact us or call now (480) 219-1366 for a consultation.
The attorneys at Ashley D. Adams, PLC handle state criminal cases throughout Arizona and federal criminal cases throughout the United States, including Arizona, Oklahoma, Utah, and California.