MIAMI (AP) - The latest Medicare fraud sweep has netted 90 arrests in six cities involving false billings to the health care program of an estimated $260 million.
Miami U.S. Attorney Wifredo Ferrer said Wednesday more than half of the arrests were in South Florida, long the nation's leader in health care fraud. Arrests were also made in Houston, Detroit, Los Angeles, Brooklyn and Tampa, Florida.
Among those arrested were doctors, nurses and other health professionals, as well as some Medicare beneficiaries who authorities say sell their entitlement to the highest bidders. Another emerging fraud trend is misuse of Medicare's prescription drug benefit through shady pharmacies.
Since 2007, Medicare Fraud Strike Force teams in nine cities have brought charges against about 1,900 people who falsely billed the taxpayer-funded program more than $6 billion.
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