|October 14, 2009|
Previously published on October 12, 2009
Two operators of a Miami clinic that claimed to have provided HIV infusion treatments were found guilty in what investigators say was a $51 million fraud case. (United States v. Libera, S.D. Fla., No. 1:08-CR-20851-JAL, 10/5/09). Following trial in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, the jury returned guilty verdicts on all counts against Miami residents Scarlet Duarte and Rechert Garcia, acting U.S. Attorney Jeffrey H. Sloman said in a written statement. Duarte was convicted of one count of conspiracy to launder money and five counts of money laundering while Garcia was convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud, three counts of healthcare fraud, one count of conspiracy to pay healthcare kickbacks, one count of conspiracy to launder money, and five counts of money laundering.
According to the statement, evidence presented at trial demonstrated that the fraud involved purported treatment of HIV-positive Medicare beneficiaries at five clinics located in Miami-Dade County and a sixth clinic that operated in Collier and Lee Counties. The conspirators paid Medicare beneficiaries to pretend to receive treatment at the clinics and then billed Medicare for the treatment that was never provided, the statement said. In total, the clinics submitted approximately $51.8 million in fraudulent claims, based on which Medicare paid approximately $21.1 million.
Sentencing has been scheduled for December 14, 2009. Fifteen others were previously convicted of, or are awaiting sentencing for, various fraud and money laundering charges related to the operation of these same clinics.