LOS ANGELES—Federal authorities say they have raided San Gabriel Valley medical facilities and arrested 16 people in an $18 million scheme to defraud Medicare by phony drug billings.
The U.S. attorney's office says more than 200 agents served search warrants Thursday at five pharmacies, a medical imaging clinic, several homes and the offices of a drug wholesaler.
Authorities say veterans, the homeless, the poor and elderly were recruited for a scheme where a doctor wrote bogus prescriptions for anti-psychotic drugs. The drugs were billed to Medicare and Medi-Cal but they didn't go to the patients. Instead, they allegedly were sent to black market wholesalers and then back to the pharmacies, where they were repackaged and re-dispensed.
Authorities say $18 million in claims were made and more than $7 million were paid.