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Detroit Clinic Owner Pleads Guilty in Medicare Fraud Scheme
Date:10/30/2009

WASHINGTON, Oct. 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Miami resident Daisy Martinez 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; Andrew G. Arena, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Detroit Field Office of the FBI; and Daniel R. Levinson, Inspector General of the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) announced.

Martinez, 50, 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, Martinez faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

In her guilty plea, Martinez admitted that in approximately March 2006, she devised a scheme with co-conspirator Jose Rosario to open a clinic that purported to specialize in infusion and injection therapy services in Michigan. Martinez admitted that the sole purpose of the clinic was to defraud Medicare. Martinez and her co-conspirators opened Sacred Hope Medical Center Inc. in Southfield, Mich., in October 2006. According to court documents, Martinez was an owner of the clinic, and she also managed the clinic on a day-to-day basis. Martinez and Rosario recruited various co-conspirators into their scheme, including an office manager, Lill Vargas-Arias, to help run the clinic; a physician, purportedly to treat patients at the clinic; and recruiters/drivers who were in charge of bringing Medicare beneficiaries to the clinic. Rosario pleaded guilty for his role in the scheme on Aug. 18, 2009. Vargas-Arias pleaded guilty to her role on Sept. 2, 2009.

Martinez 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. Martinez admitted
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SOURCE U.S. Department of Justice
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