The Federal Government took another major step today to protect our citizens against a type of crime which victimizes all Americans, health care fraud.
More than 1,000 Federal agents and 120 other law enforcement officers carried out early morning raids in over 50 cities nationwide as part of Operation Goldpill, and we expect charges against some 200 individuals, corporations, and pharmacies. The targets of this unprecedented crackdown are pharmacists, other health care professionals, and prescription drug distributors who are charged with carrying out widespread fraud through excessive billings and the illegal diversion, repackaging, and distribution of prescription medicine.
These people are charged with betraying a sacred trust to their patients. These frauds result in the loss of billions from the pockets of every American who pays taxes and health insurance premiums. These crimes also pose potentially grave health hazards to patients.
The Government also has a sacred trust to protect all Americans. Health care and health care fraud have long been enforcement priorities for the Justice Department and Department of Health and Human Services. Let those medical professionals and others who prey on the public take heed: This is only phase one of Operation Goldpill. The FBI and other enforcement agencies working with them are using every law enforcement tool in our arsenal against these serious crimes, including undercover agents.
I wish to take this opportunity to congratulate Attorney General Barr, Health and Human Services Secretary Sullivan, the FBI, and the HHS Office of Inspector General for this outstanding example of the nationally coordinated effort. I look forward to the continued results of Operation Goldpill.