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

itted to helping falsify medical files maintained by the clinic to make the treatments purportedly being given there appear legitimate, when in fact they were not.

Vargas-Arias admitted that Medicare beneficiaries were not referred to Sacred Hope by their primary care physicians, or for any other legitimate medical purpose, but rather were recruited to come to the clinic through the payment of kickbacks. In exchange for those kickbacks, Vargas-Arias admitted, the Medicare beneficiaries would visit the clinic and sign documents indicating that they had received the services billed to Medicare. Kickbacks came in the form of cash and prescriptions for narcotic drugs. Vargas-Arias admitted to knowing that co-conspirator Arnaldo Rosario, who also pleaded guilty in the same case on Aug. 18, 2009, oversaw and facilitated the payment of cash kickbacks to the Medicare beneficiaries.

Vargas-Arias also admitted that beginning in approximately November 2006, she assisted the owners of another purported infusion clinic, Xpress Center Inc. (XPC), to defraud Medicare. XPC was located in Livonia, Mich. Vargas-Arias admitted to hiring the physician at XPC, and instructed the operators of XPC as to how best to create fictitious patient files to cover up fraudulent billings to Medicare. As at Sacred Hope, Vargas-Arias admitted she was fully aware that the clinic routinely billed the Medicare program for services that were medically unnecessary and, in many instances were never provided. As at Sacred Hope, Vargas-Arias admitted to being fully aware that the purpose of the clinic was not to provide legitimate health care to patients, but rather to defraud the Medicare program.

Vargas-Arias also admitted that between approximately September of 2006 and March 2007, she and her co-conspirators caused the submission of approximately $6,577,899 in false and fraudulent claims to the Medicare program for services purportedly provided a
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SOURCE U.S. Department of Justice
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