U.S. ATTORNEY ANNOUNCES HEALTH CARE FRAUD CHARGES AGAINST FORTY- ONE DEFENDANTS

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1 U.S. Department of Justice United States Attorney Southern District of Florida 99 N.E. 4 Street, Miami, FL (305) September 30, 2008 NEWS RELEASE: U.S. ATTORNEY ANNOUNCES HEALTH CARE FRAUD CHARGES AGAINST FORTY- ONE DEFENDANTS R. Alexander Acosta, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Jonathan I. Solomon, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Miami Field Office, and Christopher B. Dennis, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, Miami Regional Office, announced today the year-end results of their renewed commitment to the investigation and prosecution of health care fraud cases in South Florida. At today's press conference, Acosta compared the total number of health care fraud cases prosecuted by his office during fiscal years 2006, 2007, and The comparison showed a steady increase in the number of health care fraud prosecutions and in the size of the resulting fraud. In 2006, for example, the U.S. Attorney's Office charged 111 defendants with health care fraud, resulting in the submission of approximately $138,000,000 in false claims to Medicare. One year later, that number increased to 197 charged defendants and a corresponding false claims figure of $638,000,000. During fiscal year 2008, ending today, the number of defendants charged jumped to 245, with a corresponding fraud amount of $793,448,162. U.S. Attorney Alex Acosta stated, "These defendants are getting rich by stealing your precious Medicare dollars. In a time when money is short, and health care is expensive, this is money that is meant to help the sick and elderly, not to line the pockets of criminals. We will continue to prosecute these cases, but we are not the solution. We need better rules in place to prevent Medicare fraud in the first place." Page 1 of 6

2 FBI Special Agent in Charge Jonathan Solomon said, "The FBI and its partners continue to build on the success of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force. We recognize that health care fraud is a challenging crime problem in South Florida and it will remain a top priority for the FBI." Christopher B. Dennis, Special Agent in Charge of the Miami Regional Office of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service- Office of Inspector General, added, " These health care fraud prosecutions send a clear message to those who corruptly take advantage of the Medicare and Medicaid systems. Greed, at the expense of our most vulnerable citizens, will not be tolerated. The Office of Inspector General will continue to aggressively investigate those who defraud the nation's health care programs." The increase in the number of health care fraud prosecutions in the Southern District of Florida is the direct result of the combined efforts of the South Florida Health Care Fraud Strike Force prosecutors and other Assistant U.S. Attorneys, and federal law enforcement agencies, led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Health and Human Services - Office of Inspector General. Among the cases announced today are: 1. U.S. v. Jose Rodriguez, Case No Cr-Gold Defendant Rodriguez was indicted on five counts of health care fraud in connection with the operation of Nova Lab Equipment Corp., a DME supply company. The Indictment alleges that Rodriguez billed $1,169,398 between June 2006 to April 2008, for various DME supplies that either were never provided to the beneficiaries or never prescribed by doctors. (AUSA Benton Curtis) 2. U.S. v. Elimelech Risse, Case No Cr-Seitz Defendant Risse was indicted on one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and six counts of Medicare fraud in connection with the operation of Accord Medical Equipment, Inc., a DME supply company. Risse was the owner and president of Accord Medical. The Indictment alleges that between June 2006 and April 2007, Accord Medical billed $1,658, in claims to Medicare for DME supplies that were either never provided to the beneficiaries or never prescribed by doctors. (AUSA Alicia Shick) 3. U.S. v. Martha Ruiz, Case No Cr-Seitz Defendant Ruiz was indicted on seven counts of Medicare fraud in connection with her ownership of DM & Y Medical Supply, Inc., a DME supply company. According to the Indictment, Ruiz was the sole director, president and registered agent of DM & Y Medical. Between February 2008 and July 2008, DM & Y Medical billed $653,903 in claims to Medicare for DME supplies that were either never provided to the beneficiaries or never prescribed by doctors. (AUSA Alicia Page 2 of 6

3 provided to the beneficiaries or never prescribed by doctors. (AUSA Alicia Shick) 4. U.S. v. Nereyda Diaz, Case No Cr-Lenard Defendant Diaz was indicted on six counts of Medicare fraud in connection with her ownership of L&D Medical Services, Inc., a DME supply company. According to the Indictment, Diaz was the president of L&D Medical. Between April 2008 and August 2008, L&D Medical billed $250,052 in claims to Medicare for DME supplies that were either never provided to the beneficiaries or never prescribed by doctors. (AUSA Alicia Shick) 5. U.S. v. William Sosa and Pedro Gonzalez, Case No Cr-King Defendants Sosa and Gonzalez are charged with conspiracy to commit health care fraud and health care fraud. According to the Indictment, between September 2002 and February 2004, P&W submitted approximately $1,981, in claims to Medicare for DME supplies that were either never provided to the beneficiaries or never prescribed by doctors. (AUSA Christopher Clark) 6. U.S. v. Ricky Gonzalez, Case No Cr-Gold Defendant Ricky Gonzalez was charged with one count of making false declarations to a Grand Jury in connection with an ongoing health care fraud and money laundering investigation. According to the Information, Gonzalez lied to the Grand Jury about knowing the identity of an individual who was laundering Medicare fraud proceeds through his business. (SAUSA William Parente) 7. U.S. v. Miguel Libera, Segundo Batista,Vivian Hernandez, Jose Capdevila, Idalmis Gonzalez, Leticia Libera and Scarlet Duarte, Case No Cr- Lenard Defendants Miguel Libera, Segundo Batista, Vivian Hernandez, Jose Capdevila, Idalmis Gonzalez, and Leticia Libera were indicted on charges of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, health care fraud, and conspiracy to pay kickbacks. In addition, Batista, Capdevila, and Leticia Libera were charged with payment of kickbacks. Miguel Libera, Capdevila, and Scarlet Duarte were charged with conspiracy to launder money and money laundering. The charges are related to four HIV clinics that Miguel Libera, Batista, Hernandez, Capdevila, Gonzalez, and Leticia Libera separately operated between 2004 to 2006: M & C Health Center, Corp., Project New Hope, Corp., L&R Medical Center, Corp., and L&B Health Center, Inc. These four clinics submitted $29,124,495 in fraudulent claims to Medicare. (AUSA Marc Osborne) 8. U.S. v. Alexander Ramirez and Madelin Llanes, Case No Cr-Gold Defendants Alexander Ramirez and Madelin Llanes were indicted on charges of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, health care fraud, aggravated identity theft, and conspiracy to launder money. In addition, Ramirez was Page 3 of 6

4 identity theft, and conspiracy to launder money. In addition, Ramirez was charged with money laundering. The charges are related to three DME supply companies that Ramirez and Llanes operated from 2003 to 2006: Spiral Tech Medical Supply, Inc., Universal Care, Corp (sic), and Max Medical Supply, Corp (sic). The Indictment charges that the three companies billed Medicare $5,146,516 in durable medical equipment that was not provided to the beneficiaries. In addition, Ramirez is charged with laundering funds on behalf of two other durable medical equipment providers. (AUSA Marc Osborne) 9. U.S. v. Javier Ortiz, Case No Cr-Jordan Defendant Ortiz was charged with a single count of conspiracy to commit money laundering in connection with an ongoing health care fraud conspiracy. According to the Information, Ortiz was a Wachovia bank officer employed at the West Gables Financial Center. Ortiz allegedly assisted DME company owners by approving financial transactions involving Medicare fraud proceeds in exchange for cash bribes. (SAUSA William Parente) 10. U.S. v. Jose Suarez, Case No Cr-Martinez Defendant Suarez was charged with one count of healthcare fraud in connection with the operation of Paradise Medical Equipment Corp., a DME supply company. According to the Information, from June 2005 through January 2007, Paradise Medical submitted approximately $4,464,640 in fraudulent claims to Medicare. Paradise Medical billed Medicare for air mattresses and ventilators, none of which were prescribed by any doctor, nor provided to any patient. (AUSA Alicia Shick) 11. U.S. v. Ruben Barreto, Case No Cr-Moreno Defendant Barreto is charged with two counts of money laundering. The Indictment alleges Barreto was acting as a check casher and accepted an $18,000 check from a pharmacy that submitted more than $8 million in false claims. (AUSA Daniel Bernstein) 12. U.S. v. Rolando Cueto and Juan Carlos Garcia, Case No Cr- Martinez Defendants Rolando Cueto and Juan Carlos Garcia were charged with conspiracy to defraud Medicare and Medicare fraud in connection with their operation of E.O. Medical, a DME supply company. The Indictment alleges that Cueto and Garcia submitted approximately $1.9 million in claims to Medicare for DME supplies that were either never provided to the beneficiaries or never prescribed by doctors. (AUSA Ryan Stumphauzer) 13. U.S. v. Miguel Almanza, Case No Cr-Gold Defendant Almanza was charged in a conspiracy to defraud Medicare for submitting nearly $57 million in false claims to Medicare. The Information alleges that Almanza and his coconspirators submitted these false claims through a vast network of Page 4 of 6

5 his coconspirators submitted these false claims through a vast network of fraudulent Medicare businesses, including thirteen DME supply companies, and three outpatient medical clinics in Miami-Dade and Hillsborough counties. Based on the false claims, Almanza and his conspirators received more than $11 million in fraudulent Medicare reimbursements. (AUSA Ryan Stumphauzer) 14. U.S. v. Domingo Santana, Case No Cr-Ungaro Defendant Santana was indicted for bond jumping. The Indictment alleges that Santana fled while on bond awaiting trial on health care fraud charges. (AUSA Ryan Stumphauzer) 15. U.S. v. Idalmes Sansegundo, Case No Cr-Cohn The Indictment alleges that defendant Sansegundo fled while on bond awaiting trial on health care fraud charges. (AUSA Ryan Stumphauzer) 16. U.S. v. [SEALED], Case No Cr-Lenard 17. U.S. v. [SEALED], Case No Cr-Jordan 18. U.S. v. [SEALED], Case No Cr-Lenard 19. U.S. v. [SEALED], Case No Cr-Cooke 20. U.S. v. [SEALED], Case No Cr-Moreno 21. U.S. v. [SEALED], Case No Cr-Gold 22. U.S. v. [SEALED], Case No Cr-Middlebrooks 23. U.S. v. [SEALED], Case No Cr-Cooke 24. U.S. v. [SEALED], Case No Cr-Ungaro In total, these cases resulted in charges against 44 individuals, and the submission of more than $160,000,000 in false claims to Medicare. Mr. Acosta commended the investigative efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General. Attachments: Fiscal Year Comparison (PDF) A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at Page 5 of 6

6 Office for the Southern District of Florida at Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at or on FBI Home Page Miami Home Page Miami Press Releases Page 6 of 6

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