Corporate Compliance

Father, son duo face healthcare fraud charges

Compliance Monitor, April 28, 2010

Ernesto Angel Montaner, his son Erensto Angel Montaner, and co-conspirator Jose Antonio Varona allegedly submitted approximately $2.5 million in false claims to Medicare while running several sham physical and occupational therapy (PT/OT) clinics, according to a Department of Justice (DOJ) press release.

According to the DOJ, the Montaners paid cash kickbacks to patient recruiters, including one undercover law enforcement officer posing as a patient recruiter. The Montaners and Varona also allegedly paid cash kickbacks to the owners of assisted living facilities and home health agencies to induce Medicare beneficiary referrals to their clinics. At the clinics, unlicensed physicians provided services to Medicare beneficiaries who, unbeknownst to the Montaners, were cooperating government witnesses.

On April 22, the DOJ filed a notice to the Southern District Court of Florida that Ernesto Angel Montaner fled the U.S. around February 2009. If convicted the defendants face a maximum statutory imprisonment of 20 years.

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