Healthcare fraud is a serious crime in the U.S. The National Health Care Anti-Fraud Association estimates that healthcare fraud represents anywhere from three to ten percent of the $3.6 trillion in annual healthcare expenditures in the U.S. That means healthcare fraud can equal more than $300 billion annually, raising healthcare costs for all of us. As a result, the justice department aggressively pursues suspected healthcare fraud schemes, as 25 California defendants recently discovered.
Federal Charges Announced Against Defendants
On September 18, 2021, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that a California health care fraud enforcement action resulted in the arrest of 25 California defendants. Fourteen of the defendants are doctors or medical professionals. The DOJ alleges that the defendant fraudulently sought more than $150 million from Medicare, Medicaid, Medi-Cal, private insurers, and union health benefit plans. The charges DOJ announced included schemes to target government and private benefit plans for testing, prescriptions, and procedures that weren't provided to patients or weren't medically necessary.
According to United States Attorney Nick Hanna, “Corruption drains dollars from private insurers and public programs such as Medicare and Medicaid. This office will continue to hold accountable anyone – including medical professionals – who seek to bilk our nation's health care system.” Charges against the defendants include health care fraud, health care fraud conspiracy, receipt of illegal kickbacks, wire fraud, Travel Act violations, and conspiracy to commit honest services and wire fraud. The crackdown is the result of investigations conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General; the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General; the U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration; the Defense Criminal Investigative Service; the Amtrak Office of Inspector General; the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, Office of Inspector General; the California Department of Insurance; and the California Department of Justice.
You Need an Experienced Federal Criminal Defense Attorney
If you're facing charges for healthcare fraud or any federal charge, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney with extensive experience in federal court. At the Sigal Law Group, our attorneys dedicate themselves to protecting our clients' rights in federal court. If you face federal charges in the LA area, we can help you. Give us a call at 818-325-0570 to schedule your free consultation.