Today, the United States Department of Justice announced that it has brought criminal and civil charges against over 300 individuals as a result of a coordinated operation of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force in federal districts across the country. Those arrested today include doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals. The government alleges that the total loss amount for all of these cases is approximately $900 million.
The Medicare fraud charges announced today involve the following different crimes:
Of course, the indictments in this case contain allegations only. There has been no evidence presented by the government to prove that these crimes actually occurred. Everyone arrested today is presumed innocent.
Our firm has defended a number of doctors and other healthcare professionals charged in healthcare fraud cases across the country. These cases generally involve a substantial number of documents and require a diligent investigation and thorough analysis to determine if the government’s case has any merit.
If there is a clear violation of the law, the punishment for crimes like this depend significantly on the amount of money that the government can prove was lost as a result of the alleged fraud. Our firm has been very successful in using forensic accounting experts and other professionals to chip away at the government’s alleged loss amount to lower the exposure for our clients and successfully resolve many of these cases.
I would not be surprised if the government is currently trying to persuade defendants in these cases to testify against their codefendants in an attempt to strengthen the government’s case. In any conspiracy case, the government will have to prove that there is an agreement to violate the law. In a complicated area like healthcare fraud, the government generally tries to rely on individuals who are allegedly involved in the fraud to testify against other people.
The individuals that do come forward and cooperate with the government may be rewarded with a significant reduction in prison time depending upon the amount of their cooperation and the specific terms of any plea agreement negotiated by their lawyers. It is critical to understand the advantages and disadvantages of cooperating with the government before entering into any such agreement or providing the government with any relevant information.
It is always best to consult a qualified federal criminal defense attorney who is experienced in complex healthcare fraud cases as soon as you have been arrested or charged with an offense like this. Our firm has successfully represented healthcare professionals for over 20 years in complex healthcare fraud cases.
We anticipate working hard to defend several individuals who were swept up in this recent Medicare Fraud Strike Force Operation. If you or someone you know has been arrested, indicted or investigated for Conspiracy to Commit Healthcare Fraud, Conspiracy to Violate the Anti-Kickback Statute, Money Laundering or other healthcare fraud related offenses, call us for a consultation about your case. We will let you know if we can help.