Miami Drug Trafficking Convict Accused in Medicare Scheme

A man and his wife have been indicted by a federal grand jury in Miami on charges of conspiring to commit healthcare fraud, money launder and paying kickbacks to recruiters who allegedly supplied Medicare patients to the couple’s business for three years, the Miami Herald reports.

These are serious allegations — as federal criminal charges typically are — and must be defended as aggressively as they are prosecuted. That’s why hiring an experienced Miami Federal Criminal Defense Attorney is critical.

When the federal government brings charges, it’s typically because they have had months and sometimes years to investigate a case. They have not only federal law enforcement at their disposal, but also local law enforcement detectives who can help. And because they can typically pick and choose which cases they want to pursue, they have more time to handle them, thus putting more pressure on the defendants.

According to the newspaper, the 57-year-old man served five years in prison for smuggling cocaine and money laundering in the 1990s. His 44-year-old wife and he created Ideal Home Health, a home healthcare company. But prosecutors allege the company billed Medicare more than $11 million to treat diabetics, who authorities believe didn’t really have the ailment or need nurses to inject their insulin.

According to the article, the taxpayer-funded Medicare program has in recent months worked out a new measure designed to combat the “pay and chase” model of doling out dollars for claims and then pursuing scammers after they have run off with the money. The Affordable Care Act provided Medicare with $350 million to combat fraud. The couple was arrested a month ago and was just recently indicted, the article states.

In February, Miami Criminal Attorney Blog reported that Miami was called the epicenter of Medicare Fraud because about $3 billion of the country’s $60 billion to $90 billion in annual fraud occurs right here in Miami.

It’s unclear why that is, though some would speculate that because of Florida’s older population, there are more opportunities for healthcare-based businesses and, therefore, more opportunities for fraud.

While this may be the case, not every healthcare business is fraudulent. But because of the perception that Miami is home to a large amount of activity regarding Medicare fraud, authorities are sometimes over aggressive in their pursuit of these charges.

What those being investigated by federal authorities must keep in mind is that willingly providing information to authorities is rarely advantageous to defendants. The most important step a person should take when facing charges is to contact an experienced Miami Criminal Defense Attorney. A well-trained attorney will advise the client whether it is ever a good idea to talk with law enforcement and will be able to assess the case from the start, at the same pace as investigators.

It is also critical to make sure that potentially incriminating evidence is challenged, if obtained by authorities. Being able to deny the government key pieces of evidence through pre-trial motions and argument can be a acritical part of the defense strategy in some cases. Acting quickly and seeking sound legal counsel is critical.