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Reportedly, the largest U.S. health care fraud case ever

When you're the biggest, you're bound to attract a lot of attention.

As in front-page headlines in media reports across the country.

That outcome was virtually assured immediately following the announcement of indictments served upon the owner of about 30 medical facilities in various states and other parties last week. The focus of federal authorities is upon health care fraud in the Medicare system, with prosecutors contending that the criminal charges they are filing relate to the largest scamming operation ever uncovered in that industry.

The case spells "the worst of the worst," says one U.S. Department of Justice senior investigator.

A special agent of the FBI notes "staggering losses in excess of $1 billion" to American taxpayers resulting from a broad-based fraudulent scheme involving bribes to doctors, money laundering, the unnecessary shunting of elderly patients between nursing homes, billing for pricey medications and more.

The case details are indeed gripping and informative on many levels.

One central point to note is this: The matter is indeed outsized and egregious.

Indeed, that is what makes it so noteworthy. It bears keeping in mind that the case is reportedly unparalleled in the annals of health care fraud.

Which leads to another point. Health care fraud is truly big news these days, and a major focal point of federal investigators. Industry participants across a wide spectrum -- physicians, facility administrators, billing department personnel, pharmacists and more -- are being targeted in criminal probes.

Those individuals can reasonably expect generally that their actions are being closely scrutinized by law enforcement personnel and that they could conceivably become subjects of interest in a health care fraud probe.

Everyone is entitled to a presumption of innocence absent the proving of guilt, and every individual who is targeted in a criminal investigation has a constitutional right to legal representation.

The above case is unquestionably huge across all its dimensions. Arguably, it also serves as a teaching point stressing that reserving judgment is necessary in all criminal matters pending the full disclosure and evaluation of all material facts.

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