||Last Updated: Feb 18th, 2011 - 17:52:04
A Medicare fraud investigation has led to the arrest of 111 medical professionals and uncovered more than $225 million in bogus bills and claims. The investigation was brought to light on Thursday after the Medicare Strike Force announced the indictments on Thursday.
The Medicare Task Force is made up of more than 700 law enforcement agents from the FBI, U.S. Health and Human Services Office, and various state and local agencies throughout the country. Since their start in 2007, the task force has charged nearly 1,000 people with damages worth more than $2.3 billion.
The defendants in Thursday�s indictments are facing charges ranging from money laundering and identity theft to conspiracy. United States Attorney General Eric Holder said on Thursday that the operation has been a success:
"Through this operation, we have identified and shut down a variety of large-scale fraud offenses. We have safeguarded precious taxpayer dollars.�
�And we have helped to protect our nation�s most essential health care programs�Medicare and Medicaid�which provide critical assistance to the most vulnerable among us: seniors, people with disabilities, and low-income Americans.�
Despite the success of the Medicare Task Force, ongoing investigations continue in a number of cities across the country including Detroit and Miami. The focus of the investigation is on more doctors, nurses, medical aids and what some officials are calling �patient brokers� � people who recruit Medicare beneficiaries to assisted living centers in order to receive kickbacks and false claims.
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