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Local Health Officials Arrested As Part Of Nationwide Medicare Fraud Takedown

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(Source: AP Photo/Mindaugas Kulbis)

(Source: AP Photo/Mindaugas Kulbis)

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South Florida Crime

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A new round of Medicare fraud arrests has netted 90 people in six cities—and more than half of the busts were in South Florida.

Attorney General Eric Holder and Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced Tuesday that a nationwide takedown by Medicare Fraud Strike Force operations, conducted in six cities, has resulted in charges against 90 individuals.

The number of arrests includes 27 doctors, nurses and other medical professionals for their alleged participation in Medicare fraud schemes involving approximately $260 million in false billings.

In Miami, a total of 50 defendants were charged for their alleged participation in various fraud schemes involving approximately $65.5 million in false billings for home health care and mental health services and pharmacy fraud.

“Medicare is a sacred compact with our nation’s seniors, and to protect it, we must remain aggressive in combating fraud,” Attorney General Holder said in a press release.

Those charged are accused of various health care fraud-related crimes including conspiracy to commit health care fraud, money laundering and more. The charges involve various medical treatments and services including mental health services, psychotherapy, physical and occupational therapy and more.

Two defendants, in one of the cases, were charged in connection with a $23 million pharmacy kickback and laundering scheme.

In Tampa, seven people were charged, in Houston 11 people were charged, eight defendants in Los Angeles, in Detroit, seven people. One doctor, Syed Imran Ahmed M.D., in Brooklyn was indicted in connection with his alleged $85 million scheme involving billings for surgeries that never occurred.

The cases are being prosecuted and investigated by Medicare Fraud Strike Force teams comprised of attorneys from the Fraud Section of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and from the U.S. Attorney’s Offices in the states’ of those charged.

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