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Medicare fraud cases, prosecutions booming

Medicare fraud is a hot-button issue right now for the United States Department of Justice. They have continued to crackdown on Medicare fraud, and their Medicare Fraud Strike Force actually set a new record for prosecutions last year. 

Florida sees a lot of fraud cases involving Medicare, and the task force said they have the most active district for cases in the Southern District of Florida. Medicare fraud is taken very seriously by federal prosecutors, and the penalties can be quite harsh for individuals convicted of fraud. 

How many people faced Medicare fraud charges in the country last year? Reports show 345 people were charged with Medicare fraud in 2013 throughout the U.S. In addition, 234 defendants pleaded guilty to these charges and 46 defendants were convicted by a jury. 

Like we said earlier, the punishment for Medicare fraud can be harsh and many defendants are sentenced to prison if they are convicted. Last year, the average prison term for those convicted of Medicare fraud was 52 months. 

The DOJ said they will continue to investigate and prosecute individuals involved in Medicare fraud schemes in Florida and throughout the country. 

As you can see, Medicare fraud charges are very serious and can result in long prison sentences. Individuals convicted of Medicare fraud not only often serve time in prison but they may also be required to pay restitution to their victims. Individuals can also face personal and professional setbacks now that they have a fraud conviction on their record. 

Individuals being investigated for Medicare fraud should contact a criminal defense attorney to discuss their rights and what options are available to prove their innocence or to avoid a prison sentence. 

Source: South Florida Business Journal, "Medicare fraud prosecutions at all-time high," Brian Bandell, Jan. 28, 2014

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