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94 People Charged in Health Care Fraud Crackdown

The Justice Department has arrested 94 people and charged them in a heath care fraud crackdown involving Medicare and Medicaid. Authorities have called it the largest healthcare sting in U.S. history. The sting was held in five states and nabbed defendants who have been committing fraud against the government. Federal agents says that those arrested fraudulently received $251 million in false claims from Medicare and Medicaid. Many of the services were never even provided, others were unnecessary. Doctors and health-care executives were arrested in the sweep.

"Countless Americans rely on Medicare for their well-being," said FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III, in the Washington Post. Mueller added that the FBI and other federal agencies are determined "to stop those who would illegally manipulate the system."

Attorney General Eric Holder and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius have stepped up enforcement of health care fraud. President Obama has said that reducing fraud is a crucial part of the health care reform. The Obama administration hopes to eliminate $60 billion to $90 billion a year in Medicare fraud to help pay for the overhaul of the health care system, the Detriot Free Press reports.

One defendant, a medical biller, was alleged to have singlehandedly submitted over $49 million in fraudulent services. In another case, a New York City clinic submitted $70 million in fraudulent claims that were wrongfully paid out. An investigation found beneficiaries lining up to receive fraudulent payments. A sign showed a women saying "shhh" and warning in Russian, "Don't Gossip," Lanny A. Breuer, assistant attorney general for Justice's criminal division said.

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