Billion-Dollar Opioid Fraud Crackdown, 400 Charged

2017 Health Care Fraud Takedown Chart (Department of Justice)

(NBC News) Federal agents have arrested more than 400 people, including 56 doctors, accused of healthcare fraud in a national dragnet.

The Justice Department calls it the largest operation of its kind in U.S. history, involving more than a thousand law enforcement officers across the country targeting medical professionals.. and more than 200 clinics or hospitals now in the process of being suspended or shut down.

“These defendants have defrauded tax payers of approximately $1.3 billion dollars,” U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Thursday.

Many of the alleged schemes centered around the growing opioid epidemic.

“Among those defendants announced today 120 have been charged with opioid related crimes, making this also the largest opioid related fraud take down in American history,” Sessions said.

Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of death for Americans under 50. In 2015 more than 50,000 died of an overdose; 33,000 of those involved opioids, with more than half of those from prescriptions.

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Additional documents related to this announcement available here:

2017 Health Care Fraud Takedown Chart (Department of Justice)