The Justice Department announced charges against 91 people, including 33 in South Florida, for their roles in a $430 million Medicare fraud scheme.
"One of the largest healthcare takedowns on record," Attorney General Eric Holder said Thursday.
According to court documents, the defendants submitted claims to Medicare for treatments that were medically unnecessary and often never provided. In many cases, patient recruiters received kickbacks in return for supplying beneficiary information to providers.
“Today’s enforcement actions reveal an alarming and unacceptable trend of individuals attempting to exploit federal health care programs to steal billions in taxpayer dollars for personal gain,” said Holder. “Such activities not only siphon precious taxpayer resources, drive up health care costs, and jeopardize the strength of the Medicare program – they also disproportionately victimize the most vulnerable members of society, including elderly, disabled and impoverished Americans.”
In Miami, the various fraud schemes led to $204.5 million in false billings. In one case, three defendants are charged for participating in a fraud scheme at LTC Professional Consultants and Professional Home Care Solutions Inc. which led to about $74 million in fraudulent billing for home health care. Earlier in the day, the FBI searched both LTC Professional Consultants at 7400 SW 48th Street and Professional Homecare Solutions at 7174 SW 47th Street.
In another case, five defendants are charged for participating in a fraud scheme at Hollywood Pavilion, which led to $67 million in fraudulent billing for mental health services.
"We will use every available tool and resource to find you, stop you, and punish you to the fullest extent of the law," said Holder.
The Department of Health and Human Services also suspended 30 health care providers based upon allegations of fraud.
The other individuals were arrested in Los Angeles, Dallas, Houston, Brooklyn, Baton Rouge, and Chicago.