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Feds Charge 243 People for Medicare Fraud

Lynch: Doctors, Pharmacy Owners, Others Bilked $712 Million from Gov't 2:54

The government charged 243 people for Medicare fraud totaling $712 million in false billings. That is according to an announcement made on Thursday by Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell.

The charges came following a nationwide sweep led by the Medicare Fraud Strike Force in 17 districts. The charges include 46 doctors, nurses and other licensed medical professionals, "for their alleged participation in Medicare fraud schemes involving approximately $712 million in false billings."

Read More from CNBC: Gov't charges 243 people for Medicare fraud totaling $712 million

The coordinated take-down is the largest such crackdown in the Medicare Fraud Strike Force's history, in the number of defendants charged and loss amount.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services also suspended a number of providers as a result of the sweep.

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"This action represents the largest criminal health care fraud takedown in the history of the Department of Justice and it adds to an already remarkable record of enforcement," said Attorney General Lynch in a statement.

"The defendants charged include doctors, patient recruiters, home health care providers, pharmacy owners and others. They billed for equipment that wasn't provided, for care that wasn't needed and for services that weren't rendered. In the days ahead, the Department of Justice will continue our focus on preventing wrongdoing and prosecuting those whose criminal activity drives up medical costs and jeopardizes a system that our citizens trust with their lives. We are prepared- and I am personally determined- to continue working with our federal, state and local partners to bring about the vital progress that all Americans deserve."