According to the AP, Los Angeles authorities have arrested and indicted 20 people for Los Angeles health care fraud over the past two weeks. The suspects allegedly scammed the Medicare program out of $26 million. The strike force that conducted the operation has been working since 2007 to combat criminal organizations that steal literally billions of dollars every year from the coffers of Medicare and Medicaid. All told, 331 people have been indicted in a series of 4 separate sweeps since 2007.
A Los Angeles white collar crime attorney will likely be assigned to help the defendants develop a strategy. A Justice Department official said the accused may have been active members in a criminal gang. One defendant, 30-year-old Michael Martinez, allegedly recruited friends and relatives to help with the scheme, which involved purchasing wheelchairs for people who didn’t exist or who had already died. They also billed for hospital beds that no one needed or used.
If you’re convicted of health care fraud or white collar crime in Los Angeles, penalties can be swift and can include a jail sentence, forced restitution to victims, and other fines. Many suspects make ill-advised statements to authorities that can compromise or even cripple their chances at an adequate defense. To develop a solid strategy often requires combing through reams of paperwork and potentially challenging the government investigation on technical points. In cases of Medicaid fraud in Southern California, defendants may not have much margin for error. Presidential Obama’s Justice Department and Attorney General Holder have both publicly committed to reining in Medicare and Medicaid fraud and making examples out of those arrested to deter gang members and other organized criminal elements from further defrauding government entitlement programs.
If you have been charged or investigated with committing Los Angeles health care fraud or grand theft in Southern California, please contact Southern California criminal defense attorney Michael Kraut for 24/7 assistance by phone at (323) 464-6453 or toll free at (888) 334-6344 or online. Los Angeles white collar criminal defense attorney Michael Kraut handles many of the most serious health care fraud cases in the greater Los Angeles area.