Mental health clinics face criminal charges for health care fraud in Miami federal court

The owners of a chain of mental health clinics are the latest to faces criminal health care fraud charges in Miami.

The Miami Herald reported that the owners are accused of spending $84 million in Medicare payments made to the clinic chain. The Justice Department reports finding just $150,000 in the couple’s bank accounts.

Federal criminal defense attorneys are increasingly being called to represent clients facing Medicare fraud charges in Miami. As we continue to report on our Miami Criminal Attorney Blog, the number of Medicare and health care fraud charges has exploded in South Florida since the beginning of the recession. In some cases, the reputations of legitimate doctors or businesses can be ruined; in other cases, innocent members of a company can be wrongfully charged in connection with a criminal investigation.

In this case, the co-owners of American Therapeutic Corp. were indicted along with two other company executives on charges of steeling $200 million from the taxpayer-funded system by filing false claims for mental health services. The allegations include charges that the company billed for mental health services for patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia, who could not benefit from them. The patients also had no idea that the government was allegedly being billed for the services on their behalf.

The defendants are accused of spending money on hefty salaries, cars, jewelry, travel, a bayfront condo and even private-school tuition. The couple traveled frequently to Switzerland, the Dominican Republic and Cuba and authorities are looking into the possibility that they opened accounts in some of those locations.