US Charges 412 People With Healthcare Fraud, Opioid-Related Schemes

The defendants include 115 doctors, nurses, and other licensed medical professionals. The group is also representing a black fire chief who lost his job after passing out to co-workers a faith-based book that he wrote and self-published, a doctor who doesn't want to participate in assisted suicide, and crisis pregnancy centers who are required to provide clients abortion information.

Sessions labeled the authorities' effort as the "largest healthcare fraud takedown operation in American history". "Some have made their practices into multimillion dollar criminal enterprises".

"You can judge a person by the company they keep and tonight - Attorney General Jeff Sessions is choosing to spend his time speaking in front of one of the country's leading anti-LGBTQ hate groups", said Joel Kasnetz, a spokesman for the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

"Their actions not only enrich themselves, often at the expense of taxpayers, but also feed addictions and cause addictions to start", Mr Sessions said in prepared remarks.

"The consequences are real: emergency rooms, jail cells, futures lost and graveyards".

Officials did not immediately respond to queries about the California cases, but the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services began suspension actions against 295 health-care providers, including doctors, nurses and pharmacists.

Many defendants were charged in connection with prescribing and distributing unsafe narcotics. The hundreds of prosecutions were a record for a Medicare fraud task force created a decade ago.

Some of the health care fraud scams have been identified by local reporters in the communities where they occurred.

Referring to so-called sanctuary cities, Sessions said one problem is the refusal of 300 US jurisdictions to hand over illegal immigrants who commit crimes to federal immigration authorities. Price added that President Trump "instinctively understands the importance of saving and strengthening Medicare and Medicaid", pointing to the president's first budget request, which asked for an increased investment in the HHS' Health Care Fraud and Abuse Control Program.

The Justice Department initially withheld the document, but then produced the single page of the Standard Form 86 (SF-86), one day after the deadline passed, reported the Washington Examiner.

Mr. Sessions has emphasized cracking down on drug crime as a priority, directing the nation's prosecutors in May to be maximally tough in charging such crimes, even when they may carry mandatory minimum prison sentences. "We are continuing to work hard to develop even more techniques to identify and prosecute wrongdoers".