South Florida is said to be the leader in federal health care fraud indictments and seizures, and is teaching other districts how to prosecute health care fraud cases. In just the past two weeks, there have been two major health care fraud take downs in South Florida – the first charging 30 individuals with an alleged $86 million fraud scheme and the second charging 35 individuals with an alleged $2.1 billion fraud scheme.
Why is Health Care Fraud so Prevalent in South Florida?
Geographically, the Southern District of Florida is one of the largest in the nation, covering more than 15,000 square miles and nine counties from Key West to Sebastian and Sebring in Central Florida.
As a haven for retirees, South Florida is a particularly “target-rich environment” vulnerable to fraud aimed at Medicare.
Areas in Palm Beach and Broward counties have also seen an uptick in fraudulent practices at sober homes that work with clinics where addicts are not receiving appropriate treatment, therapy or drug tests, and insurance companies are falsely billed.
Increased Government Resources to Prosecute Health Care Fraud in South Florida
Another reason health care fraud prosecutions are so prevalent in South Florida is because of the Department of Justice’s Health Care Fraud Strike Force.
Created in 2007, the DOJ Strike Force began as part of the South Florida Initiative – a joint investigative and prosecutorial effort against Medicare fraud and abuse in South Florida. The South Florida Strike Force has grown to 15 strike forces operating in 24 districts, and has charged nearly 4,000 defendants who have collectively billed the Medicare program for more than $16 billion.
If you’re under investigation or charged with health care fraud in South Florida, contact Ann Fitz for a free consultation. She has successfully represented many professionals charged with health care fraud and will aggressively defend you.