Corporate Compliance

Owners of a mental health corporation plead guilty to $200 million fraud scheme

Compliance Monitor, April 20, 2011

Two Miami-area residents and owners of a mental healthcare corporation pleaded guilty to submitting more than $200 million in fraudulent claims, according to a Department of Justice (DOJ) press release.

Lawrence S. Duran, 49, and Marianella Valera, 40, admitted that they masterminded and executed a scheme to defraud Medicare beginning in 2002 and continuing until they were arrested in October 2010. 

According to the DOJ, Duran and Valera submitted fraudulent claims to Medicare through American Therapeutic Corporation (ATC), a Florida mental healthcare corporation headquartered in Miami. ATC purportedly operated partial hospitalization programs (PHPs) in seven different locations throughout South Florida and Orlando. A PHP is a form of intensive treatment for severe mental illness. 

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