in the area of health care produces fearful losses for the
government (Medicare and Medicaid programs) and private health
insurers -- estimated at over $100 billion last year alone.
But no one can estimate the fearful cost to people's health
and peace of mind -- that cost is incalculable.
why health care fraud is such an important jurisdiction for
the FBI. Last year alone, we had over 2,400 pending cases...
and closed over 550 cases with either convictions or pre-trial
kind of cases? All kinds. False billings from doctors and
dentists. In psychiatric and acute care. In durable medical
equipment and from supply companies, pharmacies, and laboratories.
Just to name a few.
Goldpill -- investigated by 17 different FBI field offices
over a 3-year period -- pharmacy fraud was targeted. In the
end, we uncovered fake prescriptions, false Medicaid billings,
unnecessary medical testing, and the illegal sale of prescription
drugs to street vendors and corrupt pharmacists. Over 200
pharmacists and others were arrested and convicted before
the case was closed.
last case to leave you with: Operation Cottonmouth. This case
originated in San Diego as a joint case between the FBI and
the Federal Drug Administration. It concerned Serostim, a
hormone medication developed, approved, and sold for the treatment
of wasting disease in AIDS patients. How did it work? By stimulating
said some unscrupulous individuals, what's good for the goose
is good for the gander. Assured of blackmarket sales to bodybuilders,
they "made" a fake version, leaving out the key
ingredient, and packaged it with bogus labels that looked
like they came from the laboratories that were approved to
produce the real thing.
When the arrests were made last year, hundreds of vials were
seized...and agents intercepted 6,000 more that had been ordered
from an unwitting firm in Oregon. Three of the men have pled
guilty; a fourth awaits trial. The case continues.