Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Thursday that federal prosecutors have charged more than 400 people in taking part in medical fraud and opioid scams that totaled $1.3 billion in fraudulent billing.
Sessions said that 412 individuals will be prosecuted by his office in what he called the 'largest health care fraud takedown operation in American history' during a press conference in Washington.
Sessions noted that the case involves doctors, nurses and pharmacists that 'have chosen to violate their oaths and put greed ahead of their patients.'
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.
Officials said those charged in the schemes include more than 120 people involved in illegally prescribing and distributing narcotic painkillers.
Such prescription opioids are behind the deadliest drug overdose epidemic in US history.
More than 52,000 Americans died of overdoses in 2015 - a record - and experts believe the numbers have continued to rise.
'In some cases, we had addicts packed into standing-room-only waiting rooms waiting for these prescriptions,' acting FBI director Andrew McCabe said. 'They are a death sentence, plain and simple.'
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