Huge health-care fraud sweep: Only 1 addiction treatment case in Fla.


U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions called it the largest opioid-related fraud bust in U.S. history. He said at a news conference how an American dies of an overdose every 11 minutes.

Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price said the huge fraud crackdown was aimed at stopping opportunists from taking advantage of a “national scourge,” the nation’s killer opioid epidemic.

But when the charges were announced, it inexplicably sidestepped the biggest health-care fraud in Florida: addiction treatment.

» RELATED: Generation Heroin in Palm Beach County

» Latest headlines on sober homes and drug rehab in South Florida

In fact, just two addiction treatment arrests were made: Eric Snyder, who the Feds raided three years ago in Delray Beach, in 2014 but arrested this week. He is charged with fraudulently billing insurers $58 million over nearly five years; and Christopher Fuller, accused of participating in the alleged scheme by accepting kickbacks for enrolling insured addicts in Snyder’s program.

» Feds: Delray rehab owner arrested, billed $58 million for urine tests

It’s not that other types of fraud were overlooked. Prosecutors are charging 77 defendants in South Florida. But none appears to involve addiction treatment, save Snyder.

In total, Sessions announcement included charges against 412 people, including 52 doctors in what he described as the largest health insurance fraud crackdown in U.S. history.

» RELATED: Palm Beach County is right to weigh suing opioid makers. Pam Bondi should, too.

The criminal complaints appear to involve largely other types of health care fraud as well as addiction treatment. California defendants include a compounding pharmacy and home health care providers. There were numerous cases of more typical health care fraud involving charging Medicare for services not provided and even fraud alleged to have been committed by assisted care facilities.

“These defendants have defrauded taxpayers of approximately $1.3 billion,” said Sessions, who said that the health care professionals involved “seem oblivious to the disastrous consequences of their greed. Their actions not only enrich themselves … but also feed addictions and caused addictions to begin.”

Sessions said that 205 health care professionals are also being suspended or banned from participation in any federal health care programs.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Police: 13 siblings held captive in California residence
Police: 13 siblings held captive in California residence

A California couple was arrested Sunday after 13 siblings, ranging in age from 2 to 29, were allegedly held captive in a home, with several children “shackled to their beds with chains and padlocks in dark and foul-smelling surroundings,” the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department said Monday. In a news release, the Sheriff&rsquo...
With cash on the line, Wellington Idol registration opens
With cash on the line, Wellington Idol registration opens

Registration is now open for the seventh annual Wellington Idol singing competition, the annual event that draws performers from across the village who sing their hearts out for glory and cash. This year, a $500 grand prize is on the line with three $250 runners-up. There will be three age groups: ages 8 to 12, 13 to 17 and 18 and up. The deadline...
Good Samaritan riding Chicago train gives snow boots to homeless man
Good Samaritan riding Chicago train gives snow boots to homeless man

Giving someone the shirt off your back is a time-worn phrase that means performing an act of kindness to help someone. A Chicago man helped a homeless man by giving him the snow boots off his feet, WLS reported. Jessica Bell posted the good Samaritan act on Facebook. She said she was riding a train home last week when she saw Maurice Anderson...
166 passengers forced off plane at Boston airport after collision with de-icing truck
166 passengers forced off plane at Boston airport after collision with de-icing truck

Passengers on an Alaska Airlines flight leaving Boston’s Logan International Airport were forced to disembark Monday after the plane collided with a de-icer and damaged its wing, officials said. Flight 133 was carrying 166 passengers and crew as it prepared for takeoff to Portland, Oregon, officials said. Passengers said they felt the plane hit...
Watch: Bus security camera captures car going airborne in California
Watch: Bus security camera captures car going airborne in California

Dramatic video footage from the security camera of a city bus in Santa Ana, California, shows a car going airborne before it crashed into the second story of a dental office Sunday morning, KTTV reported. The video, obtained by KTTV from the Orange County Transportation Authority, shows a bus traveling through the I-5 underpass near 17th Street in...
More Stories