Increasing number of defendants facing health care fraud charges in Miami

Four Miami-Dade County residents have been arrested and charged with defrauding the state’s Medicaid program out of more than $539,000, the Southwest Florida Business Journal reported.

Our Miami criminal defense lawyers represent clients facing all types of fraud charges, including mortgages fraud, health care fraud and computer fraud. As we reported on our Miami Criminal Attorney Blog, increased emphasis is being placed on arresting and charging defendants accused of health care fraud. Earlier this month, 94 people were arrested as part of a $250 million fraud ring. Even such mega busts represent just a small fraction of the $60 to $90 billion a year the government estimates is lost on health care fraud.

Medicaid or Medicare fraud can result in very serious criminal charges. Even if never proven, such charges can have a drastic impact on the reputation of legitimate doctors, health care providers or businesses. And the government is not the only victim. The thousands of consumers whose names are used to file fraudulent claims each year can face significant challenges in clearing their name and utilizing government health care services for legitimates purposes in the future.

In this case, the defendants worked as speech pathologists and assistants at the Center for Bilingual Speech and Language Disorders in Miami. Ranging in ages from 27, to 46, authorities allege that they billed Medicaid for unsupervised speech therapy for more than three years.

Charges include grand theft, Medicaid fraud, and conspiracy to commit Medicaid fraud. The defendants face 20 to 65 years in prison if convicted.

In other health care fraud news, a 55-year-old Miami man was convicted of submitting more than $24 million in phony claims for HIV therapy services in Miami. The Miami Herald reports he was convicted in federal court of conspiracy, fraud and money laundering.