Good afternoon. I'm happy to be here.
As both the Attorney General and Secretary Sebelius have noted, health care fraud impacts all Americans—not only in terms of taxpayer losses, but in terms of the integrity of our health care system and our collective safety.
The schemes outlined in today's indictments involved people who arranged unnecessary or non-existent treatment for straw patients who were willing to go along with the scheme for money. This is not a victimless crime—every person who struggles to pay for health care benefits; every older person who worries about Medicare's ability to cover them; every taxpayer who helps fund these programs—they are all victims.
We in the FBI have more than 2,400 pending health care fraud investigations. In our investigations, we are focused on partnerships, intelligence, and information sharing.
For example, we have task forces and working groups to address health care fraud in each of our 56 field offices, and we are shifting resources to fraud hot spots—such as Detroit—where necessary.
We are using intelligence across the board to predict, prevent, and ultimately prosecute health care fraud wherever we see fit.
Agents and analysts who investigate these cases are trained to identify emerging schemes and techniques, from schemes like these to schemes that involve durable medical equipment fraud.
We are using sophisticated investigative techniques—from undercover operations to wiretaps—not only to collect evidence for prosecution, but to find and stop criminals before they take action.
By pursuing these methods, we can reduce the long-term damage to the American economy and the citizens we serve.
It's fair to say that we cannot detect and deter health care fraud on our own. We need the experience and the expertise of our federal partners, including Health and Human Services, the Food and Drug Administration, and the IRS, among others. And we need the help of state and local agencies across the country.
Our private sector partners are no less important, from the National Health Care Anti-Fraud Association and the National Insurance Crime Bureau to the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.
Working together with our federal partners and these groups and associations, we have obtained 408 convictions and recovered more than 643 million dollars this fiscal year alone.
We will continue to work together to identify and stop those who would line their own pockets with taxpayer money—those who seek to benefit at the expense of our health care system, our economy, and our collective well-being.
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