Almost 200 People Charged in Sweeping Nationwide Crackdown Announced by DOJ

Attorney General Merrick Garland announced in a press conference that the Justice Department had recently filed charges against nearly 200 individuals for their roles in various frauds relating to the healthcare industry, with the aggregated alleged false claims totaling $2.7 billion. Those charged included doctors, nurse practitioners, and other licensed medical professionals in the two-week nationwide health care fraud sweep, with authorities seizing over $230 million in cash, luxury goods and other assets from the accused. Cases highlighted by the DOJ included an Arizona couple accused of providing medically unnecessary care for elderly and dying patients, a scheme involving targeting Native Americans for phony sober living homes, and a case involving misbranded HIV medication distribution in Florida. “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,” Garland told reporters. “If you profit from the unlawful distribution of controlled substances, you will be held accountable.”

Health Care Scams Target Medicare Recipients

The charges come as Illinois residents have seen widespread scams targeting them in recent years. According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, roughly 6% of Medicare funding, or $60 billion of the programs spending, in 2022 was related to healthcare fraud scams that targeted individuals enrolled in Medicare, which is roughly 1 in 5 residents. In one case, retired nurse Linda Hennis noticed roughly $15,000 of urinary catheters on her Medicare summary that she didn’t need or order had been ordered under her name and connected it to a larger and pervasive scam. Having experience in the medical field, she knew, “If your Medicare’s billed for a device or equipment at some point and paid for, and then later on you legitimately need that, they can deny it,” she warned others. If you are accused or believe that you are being investigated in relation to healthcare fraud, you should consult an experienced health care fraud attorney who has the experience necessary to represent your interests and best defend you.