Medicare Fraud Strike Force
The Medicare Fraud Strike Force is a multi-agency team of United States federal, state, and local investigators who combat Medicare fraud through data analysis and increased community policing. Launched in 2007, the Strike Force is coordinated by the United States Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services. It combines the data-analysis capabilities of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the investigative resources of the FBI, and the prosecutorial resources of the Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorneys' Offices.
Some cases investigated by the Strike Force include the following:
- In December 2009, the Strike Force expanded its successful operations to the cities Brooklyn, Tampa Bay, and Baton Rouge. As of May 2013, the Strike Force has charged more than 1,500 people for false billings of more than $5 billion. The Strike Force operates out of Baton Rouge, Brooklyn, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, and Tampa Bay.
- In June 2015, more than 240 individuals—including doctors, nurses, and other licensed professionals—were arrested for their alleged participation in Medicare fraud schemes involving approximately $712 million in false billings. The alleged crimes included conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud, money laundering, kickbacks, and aggravated identity theft.
- In August 2015, the task force investigated and arrested Rouzbeh Javaherian, owner of a Beverly Grove, California pharmacy called Westaid Pharmacy. He was sentenced to a year-and-a-half in prison and a $644,060 fine. Javaherian had pleaded guilty to paying cash kickbacks to Medicare patients and submitting false claims to Medicare Part D.
- In August 2015, a fake hospice nurse who treated more than 200 patients was sentenced to four years in prison.
- In September 2015, a psychiatrist in Houston was convicted in a fraud scheme amounting to $158 million in a federal criminal trial in Houston, Texas. The strike force led the investigation along with the FBI, IRS criminal investigative division, and other law enforcement agencies.
- 2011 The FBI Story. United States Government Printing Office. 2012. p. 73. ISBN 0160915538.
- Levinson, Daniel R. (2010). Health Care Fraud and Abuse Control Program: Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2009. DIANE Publishing. p. 10. ISBN 1437935176.
- "Medicare Fraud Strike Force Expands Operations". HealthLeaders Media. December 16, 2009. Retrieved November 28, 2013.
- "Medicare Fraud Strike Force Charges 89 Individuals for Approximately $223 Million in False Billing". U.S. Department of Justice. May 14, 2013. Retrieved November 28, 2013.
- "HEAT Task Force". STOP Medicare Fraud. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Retrieved November 28, 2013.
- "Health Care Fraud Takedown: 243 Arrested, Charged with $712 Million in False Medicare Billings". FBI. 18 June 2015.
- "Medicare Fraud Strike Force charges 243 people in nationwide sweep". American Pharmacy News. 23 June 2015. Retrieved 2 October 2015.
- "Los Angeles pharmacy owner sentenced in Medicare Part D scheme". American Pharmacy News. 6 August 2015. Retrieved 2 October 2015.
- "Identity Theft: Fake Hospice Nurse Treated More Than 200 Patients". FBI. 8 October 2015.
- "Jury convicts Houston psychiatrist in $158 million Medicare fraud scheme". Deer Park Broadcaster. Your Houston News. 14 September 2015. Retrieved 2 October 2015.