A four month "Nightline" investigation into Medicare fraud makes one thing perfectly clear: this is a crime that pays and pays and pays. The federal government admits that a staggering $60 billion is stolen from tax payers through Medicare scams every year. Some experts believe the number is more than twice that.
Fraudulent pharmacies, clinics and medical supply companies seem to pop up like mushrooms in South Florida, the area widely considered to be ground zero in the fight against a crime that requires little training and involves few risks.
Former car mechanics and drug dealers, bus boys and clerks can be involved in individual scams, taking tens of millions of dollars every year from the government program designed to provide health care to the nation's elderly. As one government official told "Nightline," having a Medicare license is having a license to steal.
The victims of the schemes? American taxpayers.