Three healthcare workers in Miami have been charged in a $1 billion Medicare fraud scheme that preyed on the elderly, the Justice Department announced Friday. The suspects include the owner of 30 nursing and assisted living facilities in Miami, a hospital administrator and a physician's assistant, all of whom have been charged with conspiracy, obstruction, money laundering and health care fraud. The suspects, identified as Philip Esformes, Odette Barcha, and Arnaldo Carmouze, were indicted for performing unnecessary services on patients at 30 different Esformes Network locations throughout Miami and getting kickbacks for sending patients to other healthcare providers, who also performed unnecessary procedures in order to get Medicare money. Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell said in a statement that this case is the "largest single criminal health care fraud case ever brought against individuals by the Department of Justice."
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