On Monday, in Washington, United States Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division announced the formation of the Newark/Philadelphia Regional Medicare Fraud Strike Force (Regional Strike Force). This joint law enforcement effort will meld the resources and expertise of the Health Care Fraud Unit in the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section (HCF Unit), the U.S. Attorney’s Offices for the District of New Jersey and the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, as well as law enforcement partners at the FBI, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General (HHS-OIG) and U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
The Strike Force’s mission will be to investigate and prosecute health care fraud and illegal opioid prescriptions in New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania. According to data released by New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal in July, the Garden State was on-track to suffer 3,000 overdose deaths this year, the majority of which will be attributable to opioids. “The data indicates there is no shortage of medical professionals who are willing to prescribe opioids for no reason at all, which is to say, illegally,” said Assistant Attorney General Benczkowski.
Contact: Jon Moran, Senior Legislative Analyst, email@example.com, 609-695-3481, x121.