Federal agents today charged 94 people with plotting to fleece $251 million from Medicare by filing phony claims with the taxpayer-funded healthcare program, the Miami Herald reports. Authorities said 36 people were arrested. The indictments were part of an orchestrated crackdown in five major U.S. cities that coincided with the nation's first healthcare fraud summit in Miami.
About 30 suspects, including longtime general practitioner Dr. Jorge Dieppa, were charged in Miami-Dade County for allegedly submitting about $105 million in fraudulent bills for home healthcare, HIV therapy and medical equipment services, according to federal indictments. Some 70 others were charged in Brooklyn, Baton Rouge, Detroit, and Houston on a variety of charges, including bogus billing for physical and occupational therapy. The Detroit case involved three Miami health care operators accused of setting up clinics purportedly to treat HIV patients who either didn't receive the therapy or didn't need it.