Two Miami-Dade men sentenced to federal prison for conspiracy to commit Medicare fraud

Two defendants were sentenced to several years in federal prison in connection with a Medicare scam that bilked the system out of $2.8 million, the Miami Herald reported.

Hiring a federal criminal defense attorney in Miami who is experienced in white collar criminal defense is critical to protecting your rights amid health care fraud allegations.

We reported earlier this year on our Miami Criminal Attorney Blog that Medicare and health care fraud has replaced drug trafficking as South Florida’s largest criminal enterprise. Authorities have dedicated scant resources to the issue yet have announced a series of high-profile arrests. Being wrongly accused can have a devastating impact on a defendant or a legitimate health care provider or business. The best defense to criminal charges is an experienced and aggressive offense.

In this case, authorities say the men bribed assisted living facilities, home health care agencies and patients. A 44-year-old computer and billing expert was sentenced to four years in prison and ordered to repay $2.8 million. A 38-year-old patient recruiter was sentenced to three years behind bars and must repay $1.2 million. Both men had faced up to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty in May to conspiracy to defraud the federal entitlement program.

Both reportedly cooperated against the alleged ringleader, who owns four Miami-Dade clinics that specialize in physical and occupational therapy. The 69-year-old man allegedly fled to Costa Rica, where he was arrested and is awaiting extradition. The government claims the clinics submitted millions in claims for rehab services that were either unnecessary or were never provided. The group is also accused of paying kickbacks to assisted living facilities, clinics and home health care agencies in order to obtain Medicare referrals.

The alleged crimes reportedly occurred between 2006 and 2008.