DETROIT (AP) -- Federal prosecutors in Detroit have unsealed an indictment against 44 people in a broad case of health care fraud involving prescription painkillers and medical services that were illegitimate.
Authorities say the scheme was rooted in southeastern Michigan but stretched 300 miles southt to Portsmouth, Ohio, where many addictive painkillers were sold on the street.
The defendants include seven doctors, four pharmacists and three owners of home health agencies. Prosecutors say poor people were paid for their Medicaid or Medicare information, which was used to order drugs.
The government or private insurers would unwittingly pick up the tab.
Portsmouth police Chief Robert Ware appeared at a news conference Wednesday in Detroit. He says Portsmouth-area families have been affected by crime, addiction or death tied to painkillers.