Corporate Compliance

Four convicted of Medicare fraud in Miami

Compliance Monitor, March 12, 2008

Miami-Dade County's Medicare Strike Force earned another victory this week when a Miami jury convicted a physician and the owners of two durable medical equipment suppliers of Medicare fraud, according to a Department of Justice press release.

Maria T. Hernandez (Mayte), 50, Marta F. Jimenez, 67, Maivi Rodriguez, 34, and Ana Caos, MD, 62, were found guilty on all charged counts, including conspiracy to:

  • Defraud the U.S. government
  • Cause the submission of false claims to Medicare
  • Solicit and receive kickbacks
  • Commit healthcare fraud

Hernandez, Jimenez and Rodriguez were found guilty on six counts of receiving kickbacks in exchange for referring Medicare patients.

During the trial, patients testified they were incorrectly diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and were prescribed unneeded aerosol medications. The patients claimed they were paid to accept the unnecessary medications.

Between February 2001 and June 2003, Medicare was billed $487,783 by complicit pharmacies for unnecessary aerosol prescriptions for more than 60 Medicare patients.

Since March 1, 2007, the Strike Force has brought charges against 120 defendants, resulting in 101 convictions.

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