- Sean M. Joyce
- Deputy Director
- Federal Bureau of Investigation
- Medicare Fraud Strike Force—HEAT Press Availability
- Washington, D.C.
- May 02, 2012
Good afternoon. As the Attorney General and Secretary Sebelius have noted, health care fraud impacts all Americans. It drives up the costs of health care. And it makes it more challenging for our seniors and those who are seriously ill to obtain the care they need.
Those who commit health care fraud operate in big cities and small towns alike. Their schemes vary in size, scope, and sophistication. But they all share the twisted belief that Medicare funds are free for the taking.
Health care fraud is a lucrative business—that is why more and more criminal enterprises are getting into the act. These syndicates share strategies to steal money and avoid detection. They shift from one jurisdiction to the next, to find new patients and new victims. They are savvy to health care rules and regulations, and they know how to exploit the system.
This makes health care fraud all the more difficult to identify and stop. It shows the importance of working with our partners in the fight against health care fraud, so we can obtain the type of results you see today.
The FBI is currently investigating more than 2,600 cases of health care fraud. More than 500 agents and analysts are using intelligence to identify emerging schemes and techniques.
As part of the Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team, the FBI is committed to preventing and prosecuting health care fraud. Today’s arrests, and the ongoing success of the Medicare Fraud Strike Forces, indicate that these efforts are producing results.
In 2011, with our health care fraud law enforcement partners, we obtained more than 300 disruptions and dismantlements of criminal enterprises, we charged more than 1,600 individuals, and we obtained over 700 convictions. Our combined efforts, as has already been noted, returned more than $4 billion dollars to the U.S. Treasury and other fraud victims.
Today’s takedown is the result of strong partnership at all levels—not only the national, but the state and local. But our work is not done.
The health care system is a critical piece of our nation’s infrastructure. We must do everything in our power to protect the integrity of Medicare and our broader health care system.
Now, I’d like to turn things over to Deputy Inspector General Gary Cantrell of HHS.