DOJ charges nearly 200 people over $2.7 billion in health care fraud schemes

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The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced charges against 193 people — including dozens of doctors, nurses and other medical professionals — across the U.S. on Thursday for their alleged involvement in various health care fraud schemes that the government says amount to around $2.7 billion in intended losses and $1.6 billion in actual losses.

The DOJ said its 2024 National Health Care Fraud Enforcement Action involved the assistance of state and local law enforcement and resulted in arrests spanning 32 federal districts across the U.S.

In the sweeping crackdown, the government seized over $231 million in cash, along with luxury vehicles, gold and other assets.

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“It does not matter if you are a trafficker in a drug cartel or a corporate executive or medical professional employed by a health care company, if you profit from the unlawful distribution of controlled substances, you will be held accountable,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement. 

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“The Justice Department will bring to justice criminals who defraud Americans, steal from taxpayer-funded programs, and put people in danger for the sake of profits,” Garland added.

The alleged crimes include a scheme in Arizona where defendants are accused of carrying out medically unnecessary wound grafts on elderly patients, some of whom were terminally ill, then falsely and fraudulently charging Medicare $900 million.

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In another case, five defendants linked to a tech company are accused of distributing millions of Adderall pills and other drugs. Corporate executives at another firm were also charged with distributing “adulterated” and misbranded HIV medication. 

More than $1.1 billion in telemedicine and laboratory fraud, as well as over $450 million in other health care fraud and opioid schemes, were also uncovered in the crackdown.

“Healthcare fraud victimizes patients, endangers the health of vulnerable people, and plunders healthcare programs,” FBI Director Christopher Wray said in a statement.

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“This wide-ranging collaboration demonstrates the FBI’s commitment to rooting out predatory healthcare fraud, protecting patients, and ensuring critical healthcare funds go where they are needed most.”

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