U.S. charges 412 in health fraud schemes worth $1.3 billion

BREAKING: DOJ reports 'largest healthcare fraud takedown in history'

"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", Joel Kasnetz said.

Sessions labeled the authorities' effort as the "largest healthcare fraud takedown operation in American history".

Among those charged are six MI doctors accused of a scheme to prescribe unnecessary opioids. Government crackdowns against health care fraud previously have pursued offenders who bilked Medicare, Medicaid, or other federal initiatives. This allowed the clinic to bill for more than US$58 million in false treatment and tests, said Sessions.

Sessions cited the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for reporting that the opioid epidemic kills more than 90 people every day.

He said that too many doctors, nurses and pharmacists had chosen to put profit ahead of their patients, in some cases turning their practices into "multimillion-dollar criminal enterprises".

"The court gave DOJ thirty days to produce Attorney General Sessions's security clearance form, DOJ has already confirmed its contents to the press and Sessions has testified about it to Congress, so there is no good reason to withhold this document from the public", Austin Evers, the executive director of American Oversight, said in a statement to NPR. "They seem oblivious to the disastrous consequences of their greed".

Sessions said close to 300 health care providers have been suspended or banned from participating in federal health care programs.

A total of 412 people, including nearly 115 doctors, nurses and other medical professionals, have been charged in the sweeping enforcement action, the biggest ever by the multi-agency Medicare Strike Force, the Justice Department said in a statement.

"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.