Fourteen doctors and other medical professionals were among those charged in fraud schemes that totaled $258 million in California, Oregon and Arizona.
Charges were brought Wednesday against 34 people for alleged Medicare and Medicaid fraud in three states, according to the Department of Justice.
In California, 26 people, including 14 doctors or medical professionals, were charged with billing Medicare and other health plans for $257 million in fraudulent charges.
In addition, eight people, including three licensed medical professionals, were charged in Arizona and Oregon with defrauding Medicaid of more than $1 million, the federal agency said.
The charges targeted schemes billing Medicare and Medicaid for services, testing, and prescriptions that were not medically necessary or not actually provided to beneficiaries, the DOJ said.
“Today’s action shows that our ability to detect and prosecute healthcare fraud grows more sophisticated with each passing day,” said Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, who made the announcement.
Among those charged are doctors, chiropractors, a pharmacist, a medical assistant and a physician assistant.
In one California case alone, six physicians from that state face charges. Among those charged were: Ronald Weaver, M.D., 70, of Pacific Palisades; John Weaver, M.D., 75, of Alhambra; Ronald Carlish, M.D., 78, of Pacific Palisades; Howard Elkin, M.D., 68, of Whittier; Wolfgang Scheele, M.D., 79, of Los Angeles and Nagesh Shetty, M.D., 74 of Huntington Beach. All were charged for their alleged participation in a $135 million scheme to defraud Medicare through medically unnecessary cardiac treatments and testing through Global Cardio Care of Inglewood, California, the DOJ said.