Corporate Compliance

Miami doctor and assistants sentenced for $10.9M fraud scheme

Compliance Monitor, August 12, 2009

A federal judge sentenced Miami physician Keith Russell and physician’s assistant Jorge Luis Pacheco each to 97 months in prison for their role in an HIV infusion scheme that cost the Medicare program $10.9 million in false claims, according to a Department of Justice (DOJ) press release.
 
The judge sentenced physician’s assistant Eda Marietta Milanes to 63 months in prison for her role in the scheme and ordered the trio to repay $3.1 million to the government.
 
Russell served as medical director for two South Florida HIV infusion clinics, M&P Group of South Florida Inc. and Tendercare Medical Center Inc. The DOJ alleged the two clinics were established for the sole purpose of defrauding Medicare. Pacheco and Milanes worked as physician’s assistants at those clinics.
 
According to the DOJ, patients who visited the clinics were paid cash kickbacks and never received treatments—one patient testified that he didn’t even have HIV. However the clinics billed for the services regardless. Milanes also admitted to manipulating blood samples in order to substantiate the claims.

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