Passionate Federal Law Defense Attorneys for Brooklyn and New York City

Brooklyn is one of only nine cities in the United States where the federal government operates a Medicare Fraud Strike Force. This Strike Force is a joint effort of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) designed to crack down on fraud, waste, and abuse in the American health care industry.

The Strike Force has the power to conduct audits, investigations, and raids in health care clinics and providers across the country. But in reality, its enforcement efforts are largely centered on the nine cities the Strike Force calls home.

Given that the Brooklyn office is the only Medicare Fraud Strike Force in New York City, it should come as no surprise that the Brooklyn team is especially active in its investigative efforts.

What might surprise many Americans, however, is just how aggressively the Strike Force goes after some of the most important and esteemed members of our society: doctors, nurses, dentists, pharmacists, and the heads of health care organizations.

In Brooklyn alone, physicians and other professionals are frequently targeted for minor, unintentional errors — the kind of thing most reasonable people would never understand to constitute “fraud” or a “crime.”

Nevertheless, once federal prosecutors and investigators get on the case (with their abundant federal resources by their side), these small matters become major ordeals. Consequences can include:

  • Having your professional licenses suspended
  • Losing your medical practice
  • Federal felony charges with the prospect of long-term imprisonment

That’s why anyone working in the health care industry in or around Brooklyn, New York should take great precaution when billing Medicare for services. And treat any audit or investigation as an urgent legal matter.

Federal agents can be relentless in their effort to apply tough charges and score big convictions, even when those charges are trumped-up or excessive. They often conduct multi-district “takedowns” — major operations in which they try to arrest as many health care workers as possible. The larger the number of arrests, the more impressive their press releases sound. This garners increased media attention and public support for the task force and its many partner agencies, which include:

  • The Office of the Inspector General (OIG)
  • The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
  • The U.S. Attorney’s Office
  • The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)
  • The HHS and DOJ
  • State and local law enforcement offices

But your individual rights are not secondary to the Strike Force’s bragging rights. Don’t let the federal government or the Brooklyn Medicare Fraud Strike Force subject you to excessive investigations, endless audits, or potentially career-ending criminal charges – without taking a stand for your rights.

At Oberheiden, P.C., we fight for the rights of health care providers and business owners who have been targeted in federal investigations or takedown efforts.

We are a national law firm with a focus on health care fraud cases in the nine Strike Force cities, including Brooklyn. Our attorneys are former U.S. prosecutors – who now put their federal experience to work for medical professionals targeted by the Strike Force and other federal agencies.

Whether you are facing an investigation pertaining to alleged fraud involving Medicare, Medicaid, insurance fraud, controlled substances, or any other health care criminal issue, our Brooklyn federal law defense attorneys can help.

Examples of Medicare Fraud Cases in Brooklyn

The following instances are only a few of the Brooklyn Strike Force’s many aggressive takedown efforts. They illustrate how active the New York office is in pursuing criminal charges against doctors, nurses, and business owners.

  • In 2009, an investigation by the Brooklyn office led to criminal charges against the owner and director of a company providing in-home care services for Medicare beneficiaries. The announcement came on the same day that HHS and the DOJ announced they were expanding the Medicare Fraud Strike Force to Brooklyn.
  • In 2011, the Brooklyn Medicare Fraud Strike Force brought federal criminal charges against three medical doctors (M.D.s), a chiropractor, and a doctor of osteopathy in the Eastern District of New York, alleging their involvement in health care fraud schemes that amounted to more than $95 million in false claims.
  • In 2017, the Strike Force filed criminal charges against ten different individuals in a federal court in Brooklyn, New York. Among those charged: three doctors, three physical and occupational therapists, one chiropractor, and two owners of medical companies. The Brooklyn charges were part of a larger takedown effort coordinated with the other Strike Force city offices, resulting in criminal charges against 412 people in all.

Other Kinds of Health Care Fraud Cases in New York

Medicare fraud isn’t the only potential criminal activity the government is interested in.

The experienced Brooklyn health care fraud federal law defense attorneys at Oberheiden, P.C. can also help with:

  • Anti-kickback statute violations
  • Stark Law violations
  • False Claims Act violations
  • Medicaid fraud
  • Controlled Substances Act violations
  • DEA registration investigations or surrenders
  • IRS or tax fraud allegations
  • Any health care audits, raids, or investigations
  • Any other health care fraud matters

Who Gets Targeted?

The most commonly targeted parties in Brooklyn health care fraud investigations are:

  • Doctors
  • Dentists
  • Surgeons
  • Nurses
  • Nursing homes / registered care facilities
  • HMOs
  • Hospitals
  • Clinics
  • Pharmacists / pharmacies
  • Labs and DNA centers
  • Cancer treatment centers
  • Medical device companies / equipment vendors
  • Business owners, directors, or executives
  • Other health care service providers

Innocent Billing Errors Can Lead to Federal Criminal Charges

We have seen the Brooklyn Medicare Strike Force literally make a federal case out of innocent mistakes. These usually involve accidental billing errors that federal agents and prosecutors cast in the harshest possible light.

Once the government steps in, simple oversights might be distorted as:

  • Phantom billing (i.e., billing for services that weren’t actually performed)
  • Billing for medically unnecessary services or equipment
  • Billing for equipment that was never truly ordered
  • Billing for services that Medicare doesn’t cover as different services that are covered
  • Billing inefficiently
  • Bending the rules of Medicare
  • Certifications for medically unnecessary supplies (such as DME) or services (such as hospice care)
  • Inflating charges
  • Double billing for treatment, services, or equipment
  • Upcoding for treatment, disorders, services, or equipment
  • Overuse of services or equipment
  • Providing (or accepting) kickbacks or bribes

You should expect the federal government to relentlessly pursue any potential leads, even in cases where no one realized they’d made a minor error.

Meet Our Team of Health Care Federal Law Defense Attorneys

Dr. Nick Oberheiden is an experienced attorney, author, and legal contributor to media outlets. He has significant experience on issues pertaining to federal health care law, including health care fraud, federal enforcement actions and the Medicare Fraud Strike Force (Brooklyn). He has successfully defended numerous individuals and corporate clients (including doctors and health care practices) against federal criminal charges and regulatory enforcement actions. Dr. Oberheiden holds a PhD in law, a Juris Doctorate from the UCLA School of Law, and has been trained in negotiation at Harvard Law School.

Glenn A. Harrison is a former Special Asst. U.S. Attorney, a former DOJ Trial Attorney, and a former federal prosecutor. His primary practice areas include health care law, financial offenses, commercial litigation, and unfair competition. He is well known for his skills as a litigator inside and outside the courtroom, and he has personally overseen numerous high-level, complex cases involving health care law, federal criminal matters, and accusations of corporate fraud.

Lynette S. Byrd defends both individual and corporate clients who are accused of federal crimes or under investigation by state / federal agencies, including by Brooklyn’s Medicare Fraud Strike Force. Ms. Byrd is a former federal prosecutor, and she served for several years as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas. While representing the federal government, she worked on a number of high-profile cases, including one of the largest health care fraud cases in her district, and collected millions of dollars for the government on behalf of taxpayers. Today, she puts her experience as a former prosecutor to work for health care providers and their organizations against enforcement actions brought on by the Brooklyn Strike Force and other federal offices.

Bill C. McMurrey  Bill is a former Department of Justice trial lawyer, a former Assistant U.S. Attorney, the former Lead Prosecutor for Criminal Health Care Fraud, the former Health Care Fraud Coordinator for the North District of Texas at the U.S. Department of Justice, the former Asst. Attorney General with the Texas Attorney General Office in the Criminal Enforcement Division, and a former Briefing Attorney to Justice W.C. Davis. Mr. McMurrey’s primary practice areas are government investigations (including Brooklin’s Medicare Fraud Strike Force investigations), federal criminal defense, health care law, antitrust matters, whistleblower cases, and complex litigation.

Our Track Record in Medicare & Health Care Fraud Defense Cases

  • Defended a Medicare laboratory against investigations by the Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for alleged Medicare Fraud
    Result: No civil or criminal liability.
  • Defended a health care services company against an investigation by the Office of Inspector General, the DOJ, and HHS for alleged False Claims Act and Stark Law violations
    Result: No civil or criminal liability.
  • Defended a Medicare laboratory against investigations by HHS and the OIG for alleged health care fraud
    Result: No civil or criminal liability.
  • Defended a health care marketing company against an investigation by the OIG for alleged False Claims Act and Medicare violations
    Result: No civil or criminal liability.
  • Defended a physician-owned entity against an investigation by the OIG for alleged fraud
    Result: No civil or criminal liability.
  • Defended a health care management organization against an investigation by the OIG, DOJ, and HHS for alleged Medicare fraud
    Result: No civil or criminal liability.
  • Defended a laboratory (operating nationally) against an investigation by the OIG for allegations of fraud
    Result: No civil or criminal liability.

These are only a few of our many victories on behalf of our clients in the health care industry. If you or your organization are currently facing a governmental investigation related to fraud or violations of federal law, please contact our Brooklyn health care federal law defense attorneys as soon as possible.

Contact the Brooklyn Health Care Defense Lawyers at Oberheiden, P.C.

If you or your practice are currently facing an audit or investigation involving an alleged violation of federal health care law, you should take immediate action to protect your legal interests.

The stakes in these cases are high, the potential consequences are severe, and the federal government will pursue your case aggressively if at all possible. Please proceed cautiously and give this matter the seriousness it demands.

You deserve the strongest legal defense possible. At Oberheiden, P.C., our goal is to:

  • Bring your audit or investigation to a successful end — sooner rather than later
  • Keep your business operations, state licenses, and federal registrations in good standing
  • Protect your reputation
  • Give you reliable, strategic advice for compliance and avoiding charges
  • Have all criminal charges against you dismissed as quickly as possible

We offer free consultations. To speak confidentially with a federal health care law defense experienced attorney at Oberheiden, P.C., please call (888) 727-0472 or contact us online today.