Corporate Compliance

Strike Force arrests 53 individuals in Medicare fraud scheme

Compliance Monitor, July 1, 2009

On June 24, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force in Detroit arrested 53 people on Medicare fraud charges, halting the defendants’ schemes to submit more than $50 million false Medicare claims, according to an HHS press release.

The Strike Force, a multi-agency team of federal, state and local investigators, executed arrest warrants in Detroit, Miami, and Denver. The defendants include not only physicians, medical assistants, and company owners, but also patients who allegedly accepted cash kickbacks in return for allowing providers to submit forms saying they had received treatments in infusion therapy and physical/occupational therapy.

Charges were unsealed Wednesday and included conspiracy to defraud the Medicare program, criminal false claims, and violations of the anti-kickback statutes.

According to the press release, the Strike Force operations in Detroit are part of the Health Care Fraud Prevention & Enforcement Action Team (HEAT), a renewed effort announced in May 2009 between the Department of Justice and HHS to focus their joint efforts to prevent fraud and enforce current anti-fraud laws around the country.

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