Fraud Strike Force strikes again, expands operations

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

WASHINGTON – The Medicare Fraud Strike Force has struck again, arresting 30 people who allegedly billed Medicare for more than $61 million in false claims, government officials announced this week.

They also announced they’re expanding Strike Force operations into Brooklyn, N.Y.; Tampa, Fla.; and Baton Rouge, La.

The Strike Force is a joint operation by the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Justice. Federal, state and local investigators use Medicare data analysis techniques and community policing to combat fraud.

"When President Obama took office, he promised a new commitment to cracking down on the criminals who steal billions of dollars from Medicare each year through fraudulent claims," stated HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in a release. "These Strike Force operations will allow us to concentrate our agents and resources on the criminal hubs where we know a significant share of fraud occurs."

Most of the 25 arrests announced this week took place in Miami, with four in Detroit and one in Brooklyn. Charges range from conspiracy to defraud Medicare and launder money to making false statement and receiving kickbacks.

The Strike Force was launched in March of 2007 in Miami and has grown to include Los Angeles and Houston. To date, the Strike Force has obtained indictments against more than 460 individuals and organizations accused of defrauding Medicare of more than $1 billion.