Posted: May 2, 2012 10:52 PM by Ashley Rodrigue
BATON ROUGE- Seven people were arrested, accused of making a quarter-of-a-billion dollars off of fake Medicare claims in Baton Rouge.
Nationwide, 100 others busted in a huge federal takedown involving health-care fraud that totaled $450 million.
Agents say these seven have been at it since 2005, operating out of two businesses, to make money off of Medicare.
"This is the culmination of very much a lot of hard work, a lot of time, a lot of manpower, and it really pays off and it's a good feeling for the agents," said Assistant Special Agent In Charge Bill Root.
Federal agents say the hard work put in at this raid turned up evidence that people running the Shifa Community Mental Health Center and Serenity Center were recruiting patients from nursing homes and homeless shelters to claim fake medical services and keeping the money.
Special Agent In Charge Mike Fields said, "Bring patients in for what they call a partial hospitalization program, its sort of like a mental health type of visit, and what we're alleging is none of these visits actually occurred or they weren't medically necessary."
Agents say fraud like that was found in seven cities and it's not the end.
"We don't stop because the fraudsters don't stop and as long as they keep going, we'll keep going after them," said Root.
The charges in the indictment include health care fraud, conspiracy to commit health care fraud and money laundering. Four others, arrested previously for their ties to the scheme, pleaded guilty last week.
Two of the suspects arrested Wednesday will be arraigned Thursday. The rest are out on bond.