The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced Wednesday it has charged 78 people relating to their alleged involvement in defrauding care programs for elderly and disabled people of more than $2.5 billion.
Among the charges filed against the accused are allegations of telemedicine fraud, pharmaceutical fraud and accusations of opioid distribution. Many of the defendants obtained their funds by making fraudulent claims for Medicare reimbursement, often for items that were ineligible.
“These enforcement actions, including against one of the largest health care fraud schemes ever prosecuted by the Justice Department, represent our intensified efforts to combat fraud and prosecute the individuals who profit from it,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement.
Authorities in California, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin are prosecuting the cases.
The identified defendants include a California chiropractor and acupuncturist; a New York resident who owned and operated eight durable medical equipment companies; and a Brooklyn-based medical assistant.