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DALLAS (CBSDFW) – A national crackdown on Medicare fraud loops into North Texas and snags seven suspects, including two doctors and a registered nurse.

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An indictment returned in North Texas says three local healthcare companies banded together with a goal to defraud Medicare from January 2009 to approximately June 9, 2013

The companies, ‘US Physician Home Visits’ of Dallas,  ‘A Good Home Health’ of Dallas and ‘Essence Home Health’ of Addison are all accused of billing Medicare for fake services to the tune of $40 million.

While the three companies appeared to be set up as three separate entities, the companies worked as one; the same employees often worked for all three companies and were often paid by all three companies.

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Five defendants; 56-year old Dr. Noble U. Ezukanma of Forth Worth, 62-year old Myrna S. Parcon of Dallas, 70-year old Lita S. Dejesus of Allen, 57-year old Oliva A. Padilla of Garland and 55-year old Ben P. Gaines were arrested on Tuesday. Each made their initial appearance in federal court and was released on bond.  A sixth defendant is expected to surrender to federal authorities tomorrow in Dallas.

The other indictment charges 50-year old Mariamma Viju R.N., co-owner and Director of Nursing for Dallas Home Health, Inc. of Garland, Texas, with one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, five counts of health care fraud, and one count of wrongful disclosure of individually identifiable health information.

“This district will continue to focus all the tools and resources of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force on those who cheat not only Medicare and Medicaid, but all taxpayers and vulnerable patients as well,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Parker.  “When these schemes are uncovered, and they will be, this office will not hesitate to bring indictments, such as the two that were unsealed this week in Dallas, against those who defraud these essential health care programs.”

Including today’s enforcement actions, nearly 900 individuals have been charged in national takedown operations, which have involved more than $2.5 billion in fraudulent billings.

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