MISSISSIPPI/LOUISIANA (WLOX) - The Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department Criminal Division confirmed 11 people from the Mississippi Gulf Coast and 22 people from Louisiana have been arrested and charged for their alleged involvement in various schemes to defraud Medicare, Medicaid and TRICARE.
“Fraud against our nation’s vital federal health care programs amounts to theft from American taxpayers,” said Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.
Officials say more than $515 million was received through fraudulent billing.
Benczkowski promises to continue holding people suspected of fraud accountable.
“The Department of Justice, together with our law enforcement partners, will continue to investigate and prosecute aggressively those who bill these programs for medically unnecessary services, whether in the Gulf Coast or elsewhere in the United States.”
The government alleges the fraud also included efforts to obtain Oxycodone and other controlled substances. Those charged include doctors, social workers, pharmacy owners, mental health and home health care workers.
“Health care fraud steals valuable resources from those truly in need and tarnishes the hard-earned respect of honest health care providers who deliver legitimate health care for their fellow Americans every day,” said U.S. Attorney Brandon J. Fremin of the Middle District of Louisiana. “It is especially egregious when carried out by health care professionals who are betraying the trust given them by the community."
WLOX is working to get a full list of the 33 people accused.