Mafia, Violent Criminals Turn To Medicare Fraud

MIAMI -- Lured by easier money and shorter prison sentences, Mafia figures and other violent criminals are increasingly moving into Medicare fraud and spilling blood over what was once a white-collar crime.

We've seen more people that used to be involved in (dealing) drugs are switching over to health care fraud because it's not as dangerous," Miami FBI spokeswoman Judy Orihuela said.

Medicare scammers typically make their money by billing Medicare for medical equipment and drugs that patients never receive -- and never needed. Some pay homeless people on Los Angeles' Skid Row for Medicare or Social Security numbers to use in fake billing invoices. Others intimidate elderly victims to use their Medicare numbers, federal authorities say. more.

by The Associated Press