ORGANIZED CRIME’S INVOLVMENT IN GOVERNMENT HEALTH CARE
By Jim Kouri, CPP
November 6, 2010
During the intense debate regarding passage of ObamaCare by Democrat lawmakers, very little if any mention was made of the potential for organized crime to infiltrate the medical services industry and those companies involved with hospitals, clinics, nursing homes and other enterprises ripe for crime groups to milk.
Even when the topic of health care fraud is addressed, most examples given are fraud and abuse cases perpetrated by individual health care workers, patients or government employees. Yet, for a number of years law enforcement officials experienced an upsurge in medical fraud cases involving crime syndicates.
For example, 73 suspects, including a number of alleged members and associates of an Armenian-American organized crime enterprise, were charged in indictments Wednesday in five judicial districts with various health care fraud-related crimes involving more than $163 million in fraudulent billing, according to a report obtained by the Organized Crime Committee of the National Association of Chiefs of Police.
In this national, multi-agency investigation, 52 suspects were nabbed by FBI agents in the largest Medicare fraud scheme ever perpetrated by a single criminal enterprise. The suspects were immediately charged by the Department of Justice.