A 52-year-old Miami businessman has been given a 20 year prison sentence for his apparent role in a Medicare fraud scheme.
His eight homes around Miami-Dade County, at least three cars, and a meat supermarket have been seized as a part of his $66 million in restitution.
He apparently owns 19 healthcare agencies as well. According to court documents, he tried to hide his ownership of the health agencies as part of yet another massive South Florida Medicare scam.
He apparently recruited others to falsely and fraudulently represent themselves to be the owners of the agencies in order to hide his identity and ownership interest, according to the court documents. These nominee owners completed and signed Medicare enrollment applications that fraudulently misrepresented the identities of the agencies’ ownership interest and managing control of the true owners and failed to disclose the man’s ownership interest and managing control of the agency, contrary to Medicare’s requirements.
From 2007 through 2015, the man and his nominees are accused of paying patient recruiters kickbacks to refer Medicare beneficiaries to the man’s owned facilities. The facilities billed Medicare for expensive healthcare services such as physical therapy and home health. Most of the referred beneficiaries didn’t quality for home health services or the services were imaginary.
Medicare is a federal program that provides health insurance to all American citizens over the age of 65. The government treats medicare fraud quite seriously and will prosecute anyone suspected of defrauding the program.