South Florida Claims Majority of Arrests in Nationwide Medicare Fraud Bust

Such cases are no longer shocking in Miami, an agent says

By Steve Litz
|  Thursday, May 3, 2012  |  Updated 8:59 AM EDT
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Once again South Florida leads the way in a nationwide Medicare fraud case that federal agents broke open on Wednesday. Out of the 107 people facing charges nationwide, 59 are from South Florida. All have been charged in a series of Medicare fraud schemes that authorities say total about $452 million in false billings. John Gillies, special agent in charge of the FBI?s Miami office, talks about the arrests.

Once again South Florida leads the way in a nationwide Medicare fraud case that federal agents broke open on Wednesday. Out of the 107 people facing charges nationwide, 59 are from South Florida. All have been charged in a series of Medicare fraud schemes that authorities say total about $452 million in false billings. John Gillies, special agent in charge of the FBI?s Miami office, talks about the arrests.

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SoFla Leads Way in Medicare Fraud Bust

Out of the 107 people arrested nationwide by the Medicare Fraud Strike Force Wednesday, 59 are from South Florida. U.S. Attorney Wifredo Ferrer recited some lengthy sentences given out recently for Medicare fraud, saying, "I think the message that everyone is sending is pretty loud and clear, is that this is not going to be tolerated."

Medicare Fraud Arrests

More than 30 doctors and nurses were busted by the FBI.
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Once again South Florida leads the way in a nationwide Medicare fraud case that federal agents broke open on Wednesday.

Out of the 107 people facing charges nationwide, 59 are from South Florida. All have been charged in a series of Medicare fraud schemes that authorities say total about $452 million in false billings.

The South Florida suspects are responsible for more than $137 million of that total, authorities said.

"Sadly, in Miami, multimillion-dollar healthcare fraud cases are no longer shocking in their magnitude or frequency,” said John Gillies, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Miami office. “Here’s my message clear and simple, you can run, but as evidenced by today’s nationwide takedown, you can’t hide.”

The coordinated takedown in seven cities by the Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services' Medicare Fraud Strike Force as the largest in its history, authorities said. Miami was the first "Strike Force" city in the county in 2007.

Authorities said in Florida they took 57 people into custody, and two more are expected to be arrested.

The South Florida defendants face charges including conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud, healthcare fraud, money laundering and violations of anti-kickback statutes, according to authorities, who reiterated that those charges are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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