Are you being implicated in a healthcare conspiracy?
The Law Office of Federal Defense Attorney Richard Berne has successfully defended healthcare individuals and providers in allegations of conspiracies involving Medicare Fraud in Maine for over 42 years.
Health care investigations are on the rise
One of the most significant potential impacts to your health care provider business or practice is being subjected to a federal investigation for healthcare fraud. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (C.M.S.), as well as the U.S. Department of Justice (D.O.J.), in cooperation with several other federal agencies, have established dedicated joint task forces targeting providers suspected of program fraud and abuse.
While these fraud investigations may involve alleged violations of several federal statutes, they ordinarily include allegations implicating 18 U.S. Code § 1347. This statute applies to any business or individual that either directly or indirectly is reimbursed under such federal programs as Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare, and others ,
Providers and Businesses, particularly at risk include:
- Health care executives
- Home health centers
- Hospice care centers
- Hospitals & surgery centers
- Marketing groups
- Medical device companies
- Pharmacy industry
- Physician-owned entities
- Physicians, nurses, staff
- Psychologists, psychiatrists
- Social workers
- Toxicology laboratories
18 U.S. Code § 1347, the Federal Healthcare Fraud Statute, states that:
Whoever knowingly and willfully commits an act to defraud any healthcare benefit program, or uses deceptive practices to obtain any of the money or property owned by, or under the custody or control of any health care benefit program…shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.
Who Can Be Charged in Medicare Fraud Conspiracy?
The scope of the federal conspiracy statute allows federal prosecutors to bring multiple parties into a Medicare fraud conspiracy investigation or prosecution. As a former federal prosecutor Richard Berne has extensive experience handling these types of cases.
Since Medicare and Medicaid insure so many people, protecting These programs from those engaging in fraudulent billing and coding practices is one of the federal government’s top priorities. Billions of dollars are lost annually due to these types of fraud.
In addition to 18 U.S.C. 1347, 18 U.S.C. 371 ,the federal conspiracy statute, is also utilized by prosecutors in healthcare fraud cases
18 U.S.C. § 371—Conspiracy to Defraud the United States reads:
“If two or more people conspire to commit to defraud the United States or any of its agencies…and perform any act of the conspiracy, each shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years.”
This statute permits federal prosecutors to cast a wide net in pursuing criminal charges against healthcare providers, entities, or individuals who are alleged to have conspired to defraud the healthcare system.
Why Hire a Medicare Lawyer?
Not every misstep will result in a criminal charge of healthcare fraud. The federal statutes and regulations are complex and ever-changing. While an honest mistake in billing or coding will oftenrequire restitution to the government, it should not result in a criminal charge. As a highly skilled Healthcare Fraud Attorney, Richard Berne is well-versed in the 18 U.S.C. 1347 and 18 U.S.C. 371 statues, as well as the False Claims Act, federal Anti-Kickback Statute, and Stark Law. He will vigorously defend you against misplaced allegations of fraud and ensure that you receive the most effective defense.
Why Am I Charged with Healthcare Fraud?
If you are charged with healthcare fraud, hiring an expert defense attorney with significant experience in fraud investigations is imperative. With the distinct possibility of going to trial in such cases, you should seek the most effective counsel possible
Richard S. Berne’s 40+ years of legal experience form the cornerstone of his Portland, Maine criminal defense practice. He is exceptionally qualified to effectively represent plaintiffs and defendants in a wide range of white-collar, criminal defense, and civil litigation lawsuits in State and Federal Courts in Maine, Massachusetts, and New York.
Defending a federal criminal case is very different from defending a charge brought by a state district attorney. These cases require specialized knowledge of and experience with federal criminal statutes and federal criminal procedure.
If you are under investigation for or implicated in a healthcare fraud conspiracy by any government agency, The Law Office of Federal Defense Attorney Richard Berne has the experience to implement a robust defense strategy.
To speak with Portland Maine’s Federal Criminal Defense Attorney Richard Berne in confidence, call now.
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