(WJBK) - As part of a nationwide effort to crack down on Medicare fraud, the Michigan attorney general's office has made three recent arrests.
Using a method called "data-mining," the office says West Bloomfield resident Dr. Najah Roumayah, 71, was filing claims from 2012-16 for dental services that had not been performed.
Roumayah operates a dentist's office in Berkley, and was charged with Medicaid fraud (false claim), which is a felony punishable by up to 4 years in prison or a $50,000 fine, or both.
The office has also charged 67-year-old Dr. David Dickey for also alleged filing claims for dental services that had not been performed at his office in Camden from 2012-15. Dickey was charged with Medicaid fraud (false claim).
The third case is against Marie Denard, 31, of Macomb. She faces 25 counts of Medicaid fraud (false claim). She also faces one count of false pretenses, which is a felony that could land her up to five years in prison and $10,000 in fines.
These arrests are part of a federal enforcement initiative by the Medicare Fraud Strike Force. In all, over 412 have been charged, including 115 doctors, nurses and other professionals in the medical field.
"Each time that these folks are billing to Medicaid that means that tax dollars are being spent on services that weren't provided," said Andrea Bitely of the Michigan attorney general's office.
The attorney general's office says those charged were allegedly part of the $1.3 billion in false billings.
Charges were also issued against more than 120 defendants for allegedly prescribing opioids and other narcotics.
The sting is said to have involved 29 bureau field offices across the country and more than 300 agents.
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette's office asks anyone aware of fraudulent behavior to report it to the state's Health Care Fraud Division by calling 800-24-ABUSE.