21 accused in $149 million COVID-19 fraud schemes: Justice Department

The Justice Department has criminally charged 21 people, including doctors, a pharmacy manager and medical clinic executives, for their alleged involvement in scams that exploited COVID-19 and resulted in millions of dollars in billings fraudulent, according to an April 20 press release.

The scams allegedly took place in nine federal districts across the United States, resulting in more than $149 million in bogus bills and thefts from federally funded pandemic relief programs, according to the Department of Justice.

The Justice Department alleges that the defendants engaged in various health care fraud schemes, including one in which the owners of medical clinics in Massachusetts and New York obtained information from patients seeking to getting tested for COVID-19 at drive-thru sites and then submitting fraudulent claims for long office hours. visits that did not take place.

In another reported scheme, the Justice Department accuses a Florida medical professional of billing for telemedicine encounters that did not take place and of ordering unnecessary genetic testing in exchange for access to telehealth patients.

The Justice Department also accused a pharmacy manager at a Northern California hospital of abusing her position to obtain real Moderna vaccine lot numbers that were allegedly used to falsify COVID-19 vaccination records. 19.

The takedown of the fraud, announced on April 20, builds on the May 2021 Justice Department enforcement action that charged 14 defendants with engaging in COVID-19 healthcare fraud schemes. 19.

Read more here.