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Federal authorities charge 111 with defrauding Medicare

Posted On Fri, February 18, 2011

A massive sweep by the Federal Bureau of Investigation has led to 111 individuals being arrested on charges of bilking Medicare out of millions of dollars in false billing.

Yesterday, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder told reporters that the Medicare Fraud Strike Force charged doctors, nurses and healthcare company owners and employees with Medicare fraud. The crackdown included 11 states and is believed to be the largest healthcare fraud takedown in the country's history.

"With this nationwide takedown, and the expansion of the strike force to two additional cities, our message is clear: We are determined to put Medicare fraudsters out of business," said Lanny Breuer, the assistant attorney general.

The Miami area saw the highest number of charges, as 32 defendants were implicated in fraud schemes, totaling $55 million in false billing for prescription drugs and durable medical equipment, among other things. Brooklyn, Tampa, Houston, Chicago and Detroit also saw large numbers of arrests.

Fraudulent activity seems to be on the rise in Florida, as the National Insurance Crime Bureau says auto insurance fraud - where accidents are staged and false claims are filed - is particularly prevalent in Tampa, Miami and Orlando.

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