50 Charged in $66 Million South Florida Medicare Sting Operation By Tod Aronovitz | 05/22/14 | 0 Comment

As a result of a coordinated South Florida Medicare fraud sweep by federal authorities and local law enforcement officials since April, 50 area residents have been charged for their alleged involvement in various schemes to defraud Medicare out of more than $65,701,885, Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, recently announced.

The effort was part of a larger operation by the Medicare Fraud Strike Force in six cities. A total of 90 individuals across the country have been apprehended in the national sting operation, including doctors, nurses, licensed medical professionals and others, for allegedly submitting approximately $260 million in false billings to Medicare, according to the announcement.

“While some of the schemes were different, all of the defendants possessed the common goal of stealing from a program whose purpose is to provide the security of health care to seniors and the infirm,” Ferrer said in a news release.

“Hopefully, the sight of so many criminal defendants – from medical professionals to clinic owners to Medicare beneficiaries – being held accountable for their misdeeds will send a message of deterrence to those thinking Medicare fraud is a good idea. The efforts described today should also demonstrate that law enforcement in Miami will continue to fight the battle against health care fraud on all fronts. There is simply no safe harbor for Medicare fraudsters in South Florida.”

As we previously reported on our ARONOVITZ Blog on April 17, the Senate Special Committee on Aging estimates between $60 billion and $90 billion a year is lost to Medicare fraud.

According to a recent story in the South Florida Business Journal, Florida Senator Bill Nelson, the chair of the Special Committee on Aging, recently announced plans to introduce a bill that would deter this activity. His proposal would require Medicare to verify that new applicants for the program have never owned a company that previously defrauded the government, in addition to allowing private insurance companies to share information of suspicious providers with Medicare.

How to Report Miami Medicare Fraud

Healthcare professionals or medical billing employees who have knowledge of questionable South Florida Medicare billing practices can file a confidential legal claim under the False Claims Act. By acting as a “whistleblower” in what is known as a “qui tam” lawsuit, a private party may collect between 10 to 30 percent of the amount recovered, depending on how the case is prosecuted.

ARONOVITZ LAW: Miami Whistleblower / Qui Tam Law Firm

The Miami Qui Tam law firm of ARONOVITZ LAW routinely works with whistleblowers to document Medicare fraud and other forms of fraud against the government. Contact Miami Whistleblower / Qui Tam lawyer Tod Aronovitz to discuss your case.