Corporate Compliance

Three more sentenced in Miami for Medicare fraud

Compliance Monitor, December 24, 2008

Ana Alvarez-Jacinto and Sandra Mateos were sentenced to 30 years in prison for their involvement in a multimillion-dollar Medicare fraud scheme, according to a Department of Justice (DOJ) press release. The DOJ said the sentence is one of the longest ever handed down in a federal Medicare fraud case.
 
The duo will also serve three years probation following their release and pay $8.3 million in restitution to the Medicare program.
 
According to the DOJ, Mateos and Alvarez-Jacinto worked at Saint Jude Rehab Center, Inc., and ordered hundreds of medically unnecessary HIV infusion treatments. Medicare paid more than $8 million for those unnecessary treatments.
 
The scheme also allegedly involved Carlos Benitez, Luis Benitez, and Jose Benitez, who were indicted on June 11, 2008, for their role in an HIV infusion and money laundering scheme that totaled more than $100 million for claims submitted by St. Jude and other clinics. All three Benitez brothers remain at large.
 
Thomas McKenzie, a physician’s assistant, was sentenced in a separate case and ordered to serve 14 years in prison for his involvement in a $119 million Medicare fraud scheme, which is also connected to the Benitez brothers, according to a DOJ press release. The DOJ said McKenzie taught physicians how to make documentation look legitimate so they could bill for infusion procedures that were not medically necessary.
 
McKenzie was also ordered to pay $84 million in restitution and serve three years probation following his release.

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