Youngstown office raid part of national health care fraud investigation

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WYTV) РThe raid of a medical office building in Youngstown on Wednesday is connected to an investigation into the largest health care fraud takedown in U.S. Department of Justice history.

The national law enforcement action is headed by the Medicare Fraud Strike Force. The Department of Justice said it involves 412 charged defendants arrested in 41 federal districts, including 115 nurses, doctors, and other licensed medical professionals.

In Youngstown, investigators carried boxes out of the medical complex on Parmalee Avenue late Wednesday morning, then immediately left.

No one has been arrested or charged from the Parmalee Medical Complex.

Investigators claim the defendants have participated in health care fraud schemes falsely billing $1.3 billion to Medicaid, Medicare, and TRICARE — a health insurance program for members and veterans of the armed forces and their families.

The false billing was for medically unnecessary¬†prescription drugs and medications that were often never even purchased or distributed to the patients, the Department of Justice said. According to the investigation, some of the defendants — including doctors — prescribed and distributed opioids and other dangerous narcotics.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services suspended actions against 295 providers, including doctors, nurses, and pharmacists.