COVID-19 relief funds getting new federal scrutiny to root out fraud | #phishing | #scams

When patients came to the South Florida testing lab owned by Christopher Licata, they got the COVID-19 tests they requested — plus more lucrative but medically unnecessary genetic and respiratory tests, allowing Licata to bill $6.9 million to Medicare, federal prosecutors say.

Licata got caught — the Delray Beach man pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud Medicare and is scheduled to be sentenced March 24 — but federal officials are scrambling to tighten oversight of more than $5 trillion in pandemic relief funding passed by Congress over the past two years.

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