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Detroit Clinic Manager Pleads Guilty in Medicare Fraud Scheme
Date:9/2/2009

WASHINGTON, Sept. 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Denver resident Lil Vargas-Arias pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Detroit to participating in a conspiracy to defraud the Medicare program, Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Terrence Berg of the Eastern District of Michigan and Daniel R. Levinson, Inspector General of the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) announced.

Vargas-Arias, 46, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud before U.S. District Judge Gerald Rosen. At her sentencing, which is scheduled for Feb. 11, 2010, Vargas-Arias faces a statutory maximum of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

In her guilty plea, Vargas-Arias admitted that in approximately September 2006, she was hired by the owners of Sacred Hope Medical Center Inc. (Sacred Hope), to manage the clinic on a day-to-day basis. Sacred Hope was a Southfield, Mich., facility that purported to specialize in providing injection and infusion therapy services to Medicare patients. Vargas-Arias admitted to helping to obtain a lease for the premises used by the clinic, and to hiring a co-conspirator physician, purportedly to treat patients at the clinic.

Vargas-Arias admitted in her guilty plea that during the time Sacred Hope was open, the clinic routinely billed the Medicare program for services that were medically unnecessary or were never provided. Vargas-Arias admitted she was aware that the clinic had purchased only a small fraction of the medications that the clinic billed the Medicare program for providing. Vargas-Arias also admitted that patients were prescribed medications at the clinic based not on medical need, but on what medications were likely to generate Medicare reimbursements. Vargas-Arias, along with clinic owner Jose Rosario, who pleaded guilty in the same case on Aug. 18, 2009, adm
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SOURCE U.S. Department of Justice
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