Health care fraud is one of the fasting growing areas of crime in the U.S. Everyone from doctors and chiropractors to hospitals and pharmacy owners can be charged with this offense. In fact, a few days ago, 243 people across the country were charged with stealing nearly $712 million from Medicare.
The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services reports that the Medicare Fraud Strike Force rounded up 46 doctors, plus other medical professionals, making it the largest criminal takedown in Strike Force history. Nine of the health care professionals in question are from New York.
The defendants have been charged with a wide array of white collar crimes, including:
- Conspiracy to commit fraud
- Money laundering
- Aggravated identity theft
- Accepting kickbacks
Essentially, they are all accused of taking money from the federal government in exchange for care that wasn’t necessary, medical equipment that patients didn’t receive and other services that weren’t actually performed.
Are You Unknowingly Participating In Medicare Fraud?
While some people accused of fraud actually have criminal intent, many people are unknowingly caught up in Medicare fraud. Others are completely innocent and yet wrongly accused of this serious offense.
It’s not difficult to see why even upstanding medical providers sometimes find themselves subject to investigation and indictment. Medical billing is extremely complex, and health care regulations are constantly changing. Sometimes up-coding, incorrect invoices and offenses are simply accidents, not part of a deliberate scheme to defraud.
If you find yourself charged with Medicare fraud or any other type of white collar crime, don’t wait to consult a lawyer who has the legal acumen and courtroom skill to fully defend your rights. An experienced attorney can present your side of the story and work to combat the government’s accusations against you.