Feds Nab 91 in $295M Medicare Fraud Sting

Accused 'treated' dead people, ran Florida housing scheme
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 8, 2011 9:50 AM CDT
Feds Nab 91 in $295M Medicare Fraud Sting
Attorney General Eric Holder speaks about Medicare fraud enforcement at the Justice Department in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2011.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

(Newser) – The Obama administration notched yet another win for its Medicare fraud team yesterday, as the Justice Department announced the arrests of 91 fraudsters from across the country, accused of bilking Uncle Sam for a combined $295 million. “The defendants allegedly treated the Medicare program like a personal piggy bank,” said one department official. Doctors and nurses were among the perps, accused of a variety of schemes; one particularly brazen Detroit doctor billed for “treatment” he’d given to dead people, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

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Arrests were made in Houston, Baton Rouge, LA, Detroit, Dallas, New York, and Chicago, but more than half of them, 46, were made in South Florida, the AP observes. Homeless or drug-addicted disability recipients were promised housing there—which turned out to be crowded, dilapidated assisted-living facilities—as long as they agreed to unnecessary mental health services. “South Florida remains ground zero for healthcare fraud,” said a Miami-based FBI agent, according to Reuters. (Read more Medicare fraud stories.)

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