No doubt about this criminal law focus, target

It’s not hard to see where considerable time and effort is being expended in federal criminal investigations these days. Simply following what seems to be a clear money trail leads straight to the source.

That mother lode is at the intersection of drug crimes and health care fraud. When government officials and law enforcers issue announcements concerning investigative efforts targeting crime, they frequently allude to both subjects these days. And, in a prominent way, alleged wrongdoing concerning drug-linked activity increasingly ties in with accusations of criminal fraud.

Take U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ highly publicized comments of last Thursday, for example, when he spotlighted the nation’s opioid epidemic and massive fraud on the public in the same briefing. The AG noted the results of a recent federal sting targeting medical billing irregularities and a ramped-up initiative to put more people behind bars on drug charges.

Sessions and law enforcers across the country state that the illegal conduct of many medical industry participants (doctors, pharmacists, billers and others) directly drives the nation’s continued prescription drug dilemma. They stress that bogus prescriptions are being written and ordered on a huge scale, with drugs ending up on American streets that often bring death. And, ultimately, the country’s taxpayers foot much of the bill, given that false payment claims are presented to providers like Medicare.

The key sound bite from Sessions’ comments and related DOJ statements was undoubtedly that the just-announced criminal sweep (reportedly unprecedented in size in the country’s history) yielded more than 600 arrests.

Many more will undoubtedly be forthcoming in ensuing months, given the considerable resources being expended on an area of already highlighted concern.

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