Health care fraud an increasing concern in Miami and throughout Southwest Florida

Medicare and health care fraud in Miami continues to victimize consumers and taxpayers. However, unfair allegations can also be devastating to legitimate heath care providers who are unfairly targeted by overzealous investigations.

The evidence of fraud is readily apparent: just this week, the operator of a South Miami-Dade medical clinic faced 10 years in prison on federal fraud charges accusing him of a scheme to bill Medicare $5.8 million for HIV therapy that was never provided to patients, according to the Miami Herald.

The paper reports the SW 124th Street clinic was typical of many that have flourished in Miami in recent years, billing billions of dollars to Medicare for fraudulent treatment claims. Instance of home health care supply stores filing fraudulent claims from strip mall storefronts continue to surface across South Florida.

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Federal charges accuse former mortgage broker of real estate fraud in Miami-Dade

A mortgage broker is facing federal mortgage fraud charges in Miami as part of a statewide investigation into a fraud ring, the Miami Herald reported.

The charges come nearly two years after a Miami Herald series, Borrowers Betrayed, which detailed the Homestead mortgage broker’s alleged involvement in a multi-million dollar loan scam involving more than $550 million in mortgages from throughout Florida. The woman faces charges in connection with two properties in Southwest Miami-Dade County, including making up employment information, assets and annual income for the borrowers. The borrowers were her relatives.

The Herald’s investigation alleged that the defendant brokered $22 million in loans over an 18-month period out of a little, nondescript office on South Dixie Highway. A New York banker was convicted of racketeering for his role in the crimes and is serving an 18-month prison sentence.

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Former police officer pleads guilty to federal criminal charge of conspiracy in Miami

A former Miami Beach police officer has pleaded guilty to a federal conspiracy charge in Miami after being accused of extortion and robbery, the Miami Herald reported.

The federal criminal charge accused the former officer of threatening and robbing Russian nationals who lived in his apartment building. He resigned in December after 13 years on the force. He admitted in court that he impersonated a police officer in March when he threatened a victim and took personal property, including a passport and computer. An accomplice also pleaded guilty to a federal charge of conspiring to extort and rob the Russian.

Conspiracy is one of the most common types of federal charges, and alleges only that a defendant planned to break a law at some point in the future. Conspiracy is a charge often used in connection with computer crimes, mail fraud and other federal charges.

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Miami real estate fraud scheme snares mother and son

A mother and son pleaded guilty this week to mortgage fraud charges in Miami-Dade County, the South Florida Business Journal reported.

The Miami mortgage fraud case cost lenders between $7 million and $20 million. The number of real estate fraud cases has exploded since the collapsing of the housing market and the economic recession; South Florida fraud cases are likely to continue for years to come as investigators and the courts continue to play catch-up. Anyone who is victimized by mortgage fraud or charged with a crime in connection with a real estate transaction, should contact a Miami real estate fraud attorney to discuss their legal rights.

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Federal Jury Acquits Calvin Warren of Felon in Possession of a Weapon Charges

A jury of 12 Miami Dade County Citizens found that the prosecution failed to prove the single criminal charge of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon on April 29, 2010. Attorneys David Tucker (left) of Tucker & Kotler, P.A. and Brian Baraka, (left) of Barakat, Jacobs & Associates, P.L. joined forces to defend Mr. Warren before the Honorable Alan S. Gold.

Mr. Warren was alleged to have been riding his bicycle south on NW 5th Avenue in Overtown when members of the City of Miami Police Department’s Problem Solving Team or PST noticed that he had no light on his bike. Despite that fact that the street was well lit, three police cars and five officers made a u-turn to apprehend this young man. A chase ensued that lead police vehicles over curbs, through parks and front yards. Finally, one officer alleges that he saw Mr. Warren throw a gun on a roof.

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