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Eight Miami-Area Residents Charged in $22 Million Medicare Fraud Scheme Involving Home Health Care Agencies
Date:6/26/2009

to be used by their co-conspirators to file claims with Medicare for purported home health care services. The indictment alleges that the services were not provided and were not medically necessary.

The indictment alleges that in addition to exerting ownership and control of the home health agencies, Hernandez Quiros and Castaneda acted as Medicare beneficiary recruiters for ABC and Florida Home Health, respectively; and Hidalgo, a medical assistant, falsified medical tests and records to make it appear that the services were needed. The indictment alleges that ABC billed more than $17 million to the Medicare program for services provided from January 2006 through December 2008 that were medically unnecessary and were not actually provided. During that time frame, Medicare paid more than $11 million on those fraudulent claims submitted by ABC. The indictment also alleges that from October 2007 through March 2009, Florida Home Health billed more than $5 million to the Medicare program for services that were medically unnecessary and not actually provided. During that time frame, Medicare paid more than $4 million on those fraudulent claims submitted by Florida Home Health.

The charge of conspiracy to commit health care fraud carries a maximum prison sentence of 10 years. Each charged count of health care fraud carries a maximum prison sentence of 10 years and each count of paying health care kickbacks carries a maximum prison sentence of five years. Conspiracy to launder health care fraud proceeds carries a maximum prison sentence of 10 years per count.

An indictment is merely a charge and defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

In conjunction with the criminal case, on June 24, 2009, the U.S. Attorney's Office filed a civil complaint for injunctive relief under the fraud injunction statute and obtained a temporary restraining order freezing the assets of ABC, Florida Home He
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SOURCE U.S. Department of Justice
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