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Feds charge 107 people in $452 million Medicare fraud crackdown

(CBS News) In the biggest crackdown of Medicare fraud in history, Attorney General Eric Holder announced Wednesday that the Medicare Fraud Strike Force had uncovered $452 million dollars worth of false billings in seven cities across the nation.

More than 100 people have been arrested in relation to the fraud, including doctors, nurses and social workers.

"This is the highest amount of alleged false Medicare billings involved in a single takedown in the Strike Force's five-year history," said Holder, speaking alongside Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

Sebelius, who credited the Affordable Care Act with strengthening the ability to go after Medicare fraud, said "no one who has been part of an illegal scheme can keep cashing in."

Among the alleged practices used to defraud Medicare include health care providers busing in homeless people who never got treatment and ambulance companies charging for bogus emergencies.

In one scheme, workers at two community health centers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana falsified patient signatures and treatment notes in order to fraudulently bill Medicare for $225 million dollars in medical services that were never received.

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