73 People Charged in South Florida in Federal Medicare Fraud Crackdown

The largest national medicare fraud takedown in history resulted in 73 individuals being charged in South Florida. Those arrests were part of a nationwide sweep that saw 243 arrests for Medicare fraud totaling $712 million in false billings.

"Steal millions of dollars from our tax payers, we're coming after you," was the message from Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi about Medicare fraud in our state.

"Thirty-eight separate cases down here in Miami... responsible for false billings in over $262 million," said U.S. Attorney Wifredo Ferrer.

A mental health clinic at 1313 Southwest First Street was closed down by federal agents Thursday.

"When I got here this morning and the FBI was taking over," the landlord Minnie Herrera said.

The landlord said she had been renting the space out to the mental health clinic, which is now defunct. The people running the clinic are part of the 73 defendants being charged with billing false claims for mental health services, home health care and prescriptions.

"We see dozens of these pharmacies in Miami billing for drugs that are not medically necessary and are not even actually provided to the patients," Ferrer said.

"All of these gentlemen and ladies around me are coming after you," added Bondi. "We don't care if you're a doctor, a pharmacist, a home health care provider or a citizen who is participating in pay to play, they're coming after you."

Thursday's announcement is part of national takedown by the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, operating in 17 cities and arresting 243 people.

The charges are the "largest criminal health care fraud takedown in the history of the Department of Justice and it adds to an already remarkable record of enforcement," said Attorney General Lynch in a statement.

"The federal and state government will work every single day to make sure that those who commit these crimes face justice," added Ferrer.

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