Finance Globe

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$163 Million Health Care Fraud Racket Busted Up

A health care fraud racket suspected of pilfering more than $163 million from the Medicare system has been busted up by the Justice Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigations in a multi-agency investigation, the agency reported on Wednesday.

The defendants include 73 members and associates of an Armenian-American organized crime enterprise across five states - California, Georgia, New Mexico, New York, and Ohio.

“The emergence of international organized crime in domestic health care fraud schemes signals a dangerous expansion that poses a serious threat to consumers as these syndicates are willing to exploit almost any program, business or individual to earn an illegal profit,” said Acting Deputy Attorney General Gary G. Grinder.

There are a multitude of charges centering around the multi-million dollar scheme to defraud Medicare and insurance companies. The group is accused of submitting fraudulent bills for medically unnecessary treatments or treatments that were never performed.

The defendants are accused of stealing the identities of doctors and thousands of Medicare beneficiaries, and establishing at least 118 phony clinics in 25 states in order to submit fraudulent Medicare claims.

“The international organized crime enterprise known as the Mirzoyan-Terdjanian, fleeced the health care system through a wide-range of money making criminal fraud schemes,” said Kevin Perkins, FBI Assistant Director of the Criminal Investigative Division. “We want to restore the confidence in the nation’s health care system and assure practitioners we will not stand by and let their identities be used for criminal gain.”

Charges include a number of fraud allegations, and identity theft, conspiracy, and money laundering. The Justice Department said there were 44 defendants indicted in New York, 10 in California, seven in New Mexico, six in Ohio, and six in Georgia.

Daniel R. Levinson, Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services said in a statement, “Criminals stealing from Medicare needn’t look over their shoulders to know that we are in hot pursuit.”

The defendants are presumed innocent of these allegations until found guilty by a court of law.

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Tuesday, 23 April 2024

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