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111 people charged with Medicare fraud

WASHINGTON, Feb. 17 (UPI) -- Doctors, nurses and healthcare company owners have been charged with cheating Medicare of $225 million, the U.S. Justice Department announced Thursday.

A total of 111 people in nine cities have been arrested, prosecutors said. They face a variety of charges involving alleged schemes to overbill Medicare, or to bill for unnecessary procedures or some that were never performed.

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In some cases, recruiters were paid kickbacks for bringing in patients, or patients got paid for their assistance, prosecutors said.

Arrests were made by strike force operated by the departments of Justice and Health and Human Services.

"With this takedown, we have identified and shut down large-scale fraud schemes operating throughout the country. We have safeguarded precious taxpayer dollars. And we have helped to protect our nation's most essential health care programs, Medicare and Medicaid," Attorney General Eric Holder said. "As today's arrests prove, we are waging an aggressive fight against health care fraud."

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