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More than 400 people, including doctors, pharmacists and nurses, have been charged in connection with a massive health care fraud scheme that bilked the federal government of more than $1 billion, federal officials announced Thursday.

About a quarter of those were charged with fraud specifically related to opioids, said the officials from the Justice Department and Department of Health and Human Services.

Describing some of the cases brought, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said trusted medical professionals “have chosen to violate their oaths and put greed ahead of their patients.”

Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price said the health care fraud bust targeted those who “maliciously contributed” to the nation’s opioid epidemic.

In all, 412 people, including 56 doctors, were charged as a result of the nationwide operation. The Justice Department said those accused have defrauded taxpayers of approximately $1.3 billion.


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