U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland speaking on June 22, 2023 in Washington, DC.
Chip Somodevilla | Getty Images
The Justice Department on Wednesday charged 78 people with $2.5 billion in health-care fraud.
The DOJ, in a press release, said the defendants allegedly defrauded programs used to take care of elderly and disabled people. In some cases, they used the money to buy luxury cars, jewelry and yachts, according to the agency.
The allegations include charges against 11 defendants of submitting $2 billion in fraudulent claims through telemedicine, as well as charges against 10 defendants in connection with fraudulent prescription drug claims.
The defendants include “physicians and other licensed medical professionals who lined their own pockets, including doctors who allegedly put their patients at risk by illegally providing them with opioids they did not need,” the DOJ release reads.
“These enforcement actions, including against one of the largest health care fraud schemes ever prosecuted by the Justice Department, represent our intensified efforts to combat fraud and prosecute the individuals who profit from it,” said Attorney General Merrick Garland in a statement.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.