Federal investigations have uncovered Medicare fraud schemes totalling $26 million.
In one case, owners and employees of four medical suppliers based in California and Nevada allegedly billed Medicare for $12 million worth of medical equipment that was never provided or was ordered on behalf of patients who didn't need it or who were deceased, the Los Angeles Times reports.
In another case, a Long Beach, Calif., man was arrested for recruiting relatives and gang members to pose as owners of bogus medical supply companies. The "companies" then billed Medicare for medical equipment totaling $11.2 million.
The busts reflect a growing trend in which Medicare fraud schemes are trickling down into organized crime.