HOUSTON – The U.S. Department of Justice announced a historic nationwide enforcement takedown Wednesday involving 345 charged defended across 51 federal districts, according to a press release. The investigation alleges more than 100 doctors, nurses and other licensed medical professionals participated in healthcare fraud and opioid abuse.
Investigators charged the defendants with submitting more than $6 billion in false and fraudulent claims to federal healthcare programs and private insurers, including more than $4.5 billion connected to telemedicine, more than $845 million linked to substance abuse treatment facilities or “sober homes,” and more than $806 million related to other healthcare fraud and illegal opioid distribution schemes across the country.
“This nationwide enforcement operation is historic in both its size and scope, alleging billions of dollars in healthcare fraud across the country,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian C. Rabbitt in a press release. “These cases hold accountable for those medical professionals and others who have exploited healthcare benefit programs and patients for personal gain. The cooperative law enforcement actions announced today send a clear deterrent message and should leave no doubt about the department’s ongoing commitment to ensuring the safety of patients and the integrity of health care benefit programs, even amid a national health emergency.”
Texas fraud-related cases
Investigators filed charges against about 70 defendants in Texas, according to court documents.
Southern District of Texas
A total of 16 defendants were charged for their alleged roles in schemes to defraud insurance programs out of $50 million, according to court documents. In one case, defendants operating pharmacies and others were alleged to have unlawfully dispensed controlled substances to street gangs that were distributing both methamphetamine and cocaine, in addition to the prescription pills. Nearly 337,000 pills of oxycodone and hydrocodone were allegedly involved in this matter. The Southern District includes Houston, Galveston, Victoria, Corpus Christi, Brownsville, McAllen and Laredo.
Northern District of Texas