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Federal charges brought against Tampa man accused of being involved in health care kickback scheme

Mihir Taneja, 46, was reportedly one of five Florida men involved in the nationwide scam.
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

TAMPA, Fla — A federal civil lawsuit has been filed against a local man accused of taking part in one of the largest health care scams in U.S. history.

In the lawsuit filed by United States Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez, Mihir Taneja, 46, is said to have entered a "kickback arrangement" with a telemarketing company, which led to pharmacy benefit managers being defrauded hundreds of millions of dollars through fraudulent prescriptions.

Taneja did not work alone, however. According to a news release, the lawsuit says another local man, Larry Smith, 50, worked with Taneja in the scam. 

The scheme had the men submit fraudulent prescriptions, purchased by the telemarketing company, to the benefit managers who would reimburse them, the lawsuit says. 

“Kickback arrangements skew the judgment of medical providers and threaten the integrity and viability of our healthcare programs,” said U.S. Attorney Chapa Lopez. 

From November 2014 to February 2015, the lawsuit alleges thousands of claims were submitted.

Taneja and Smith were among five Florida men who took part in the nationwide scheme, a news release from the Department of Justice said. By Monday, all five men had pled guilty.

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