USA charges 601 people in healthcare fraud, opioid crackdown

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According to Coleman, law enforcement has also executed multiple search warrants over the past few weeks related to possible health care fraud and opiate overprescribing, including at a residence, an oncologist's practice and several pain clinics.

Last year, the DOJ charged more than 400 people for allegedly participating in health care fraud activities totaling approximately $1.3 billion in false billings.

An additional 76 doctors were charged on suspicion of wrongly prescribing and distributing opioids. "We will seek out and prosecute those medical professionals who abuse the trust that society places in them by unlawfully diverting opioids and other controlled substances".

"Today is a historic day - but our work is not finished".

The nationwide takedown included charges against 165 doctors, nurses and other licensed medical professionals alleging that they were involved in schemes involving more than $2 billion in false billings.

Dr. Kim allegedly took part in a scheme to submit claims to Medicare for physical therapy services that were not medically necessary, not provided, or otherwise did not qualify for reimbursement.

In numerous cases patient recruiters, beneficiaries and others involved in the schemes were paid cash kickbacks in return for supplying beneficiary information to providers, allowing the providers to submit fraudulent bills to Medicare, according to court documents.

Officials said health care fraud is not only about the monetary damages, which saw some of those charged receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars of fraudulent proceeds, but the crackdown is also about public safety.

United States Attorney Deegan announced two criminal prosecutions in the Northern District of Iowa. The treatment facility's CEO, Paul R. Materia, 43, and patient brokers Joseph Lubowitz, 29, and Christopher Fuller, 33, were charged with illegally recruiting patients, paying kickbacks and defrauding healthcare programs by billing for urine testing and substance abuse treatment that were medically unnecessary.

Peresiper, a medical clinic business manager, was charged with conspiracy to pay health care kickbacks related to Pulmonary Solutions and Multi Care Medical NY, both in Brooklyn.

Thomas Carpenter, who was medical director at Foundational Health, a Tampa area clinic, and Caridad Limberg-Gonzalez, who owned the clinic, are charged with conspiracy to commit health care fraud and wire fraud, four counts of health care fraud and three counts of making false statements. This case is being handled by AUSA Tim Vavricek and was investigated by the Iowa Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.

The Justice Department said that the charges were part of its national investigation into fraud that has led to 601 people being charged with fraud that prosecutors said estimated as up to $2 billion. The case file numbers are 18-CR-2031-LRR and 18-CR-3021-LRR.