Seven people were indicted accused of conspiring to defraud Medicare out of almost $132 million yesterday as a team of FBI agents raided their offices, reports the Detroit News. The indictment alleges that the defendants participated in a nearly decade-long conspiracy that defrauded Medicare through a series of kickbacks and bribes. The case appears to be part of a nationwide crackdown on health care fraud. Two years ago, federal agents charged 243 people nationwide with participating in fraudulent schemes that involved $712 million in false billings.
This year’s health care fraud crackdown and the Detroit indictment is expected to be outlined today by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. In 2015, the enforcement sweep led to 16 arrests on charges relating to schemes that involved more than $122 million. The new indictment unsealed Wednesday alleges the seven defendants conspired in a scheme involving $131.8 million. The alleged scheme involved paying kickbacks and bribes for services billed to Medicare. The conspiracy has continued for nearly a decade and involved sending false and fraudulent materials to Medicare, the indictment alleges. The defendants are accused of billing Medicare for false treatments, entering into sham agreements and making misrepresentations and omissions in the enrollment applications and claims submitted to Medicare.