Prosecutors Charge 412 In Health Care Fraud, Opioid Scams Totaling $1.3 Billion In False Billing

Heidi Wyandt, 27 holds a handful of her medication at the Altoona Center for Clinical Research where she receives experimental non-opioid pain medication for chronic back pain related to a work related injury she received in 2014 on Wednesday, March 29, 2017 in Altoona, PA. (AP Photo/Chris Post)
Chris Post/FR170581 AP

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. prosecutors have charged more than 400 people with taking part in health care fraud and opioid scams that totaled $1.3 billion in false billing.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the charges Thursday. Officials say those charged include more than 120 people involved in prescribing and distributing narcotics. In prepared remarks, Sessions calls it the “largest health care fraud takedown operation in American history.”

Among those charged are six Michigan doctors accused of a scheme to prescribe unnecessary opioids. A Florida rehab facility is alleged to have recruited addicts with gift cards and visits to strip clubs, leading to $58 million in false treatments and tests.

Sessions says nearly 300 health care providers are being suspended or banned from participating in federal health care programs.