Navigation Links
Four Miami Health Care Company Owners Sentenced to 57 Months in Prison For Medicare Fraud
Date:11/9/2007

WASHINGTON, Nov. 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Four members of the same family, who owned and operated a series of Miami Durable Medicare Equipment (DME) companies and Comprehensive Outpatient Rehabilitation Facilities have each been sentenced to 57 months in prison for Medicare fraud, Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher of the Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney R. Alexander Acosta of the Southern District of Florida announced today.

Carlos Berenguer, 61, Ivan Aguera, 34, Aristides Berenguer, 64, and Robert Berenguer, 58, were sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Judge Jose Martinez in Miami. Judge Martinez also ordered each of the four defendants to pay over $1.4 million in restitution for the money they received in false claims. All four defendants pleaded guilty to all charged counts in March 2007.

Brothers Carlos and Aristides Berenguer owned and operated Select Medical Equipment Inc., while another brother, Robert Berenguer, owned and operated Professional Medical Equipment, Inc. Carlos Berenguer's step-son, Ivan Aguera, owned and operated Palm Medical Equipment. Through these companies, the four defendants recruited and paid cash to Medicare patients to participate in schemes to defraud Medicare. These schemes involved the submission of false claims to Medicare for unnecessary oxygen concentrators and "compounded" aerosol medications. Compounding refers to the process of a pharmacist making medication as opposed to it being made by a pharmaceutical manufacturer.

None of the four defendants owned a pharmacy capable of billing Medicare for drugs, so they conspired with the owners of Miami pharmacies to refer patients in exchange for half of what Medicare paid for aerosol drugs. From 2001 to 2003, the Berenguers and Aguera were responsible for Medicare paying over $1.4 million based on false claims. Another family member, Ricardo Aguera, a.k.a. Pichi, who owned three Miami health care companies, was sentenced to 121 months in prison following a week-long jury trial in March of 2007.

The compounding aerosol scheme was one of the most common health care frauds in south Florida. In 2006, the Medicare program paid for over $155 million worth of aerosol medications in Miami-Dade County, making it the single most common item billed to Medicare Part B. From 2005 to 2006, claims for these aerosol medications increased over 100 percent. In addition, according to Medicare data, Miami-Dade County alone accounted for more paid DME claims than every state in the country except California, Texas, New York, Michigan and Ohio.

The case was prosecuted by Deputy Chief Kirk Ogrosky and Trial Attorney Jeffrey Neiman from the Fraud Section of the Criminal Division, with the investigative assistance of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General, the FBI, and the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit of the Florida Attorney General's Office.

Since beginning operations in March of 2007, the strike force teams have indicted 120 defendants in Miami-Dade County alone. The strike force teams are led by a federal prosecutor supervised by both the Criminal Division's Fraud Section in Washington and the U.S. Attorney's Office of the Southern District of Florida.


'/>"/>
SOURCE U.S. Department of Justice
Copyright©2007 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Miami Jury Convicts Medical Company Owner of Medicare Fraud
2. Cogon Systems Supports the South Florida Health Information Initiatives 2nd Annual Health Information Exchange Summit - November 8th in Miami, FL
3. "High School Musicals" Corbin Bleu Joins Colgate-Palmolive, United Way and Miami-Dade Elementary School Students for Dental Health Challenge
4. Penn study finds pro-death proteins required to regulate healthy immune function
5. UCLA researchers identify markers that may predict diabetes in still-healthy people
6. Air pollution linked to cardiovascular risk indices in healthy young adults
7. More proof needed of safety and quality of electronic personal health records
8. Health care incentive model offers collaborative approach
9. Loneliness is bad for your health
10. Mailman School of Public Health study examines link between racial discrimination and substance use
11. Green Tea May Brew Up Healthier Skin
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/22/2017)... ... May 22, 2017 , ... OSF ... group investing in InsightRX, an early stage company in San Francisco that has ... characteristics. Greatpoint Ventures Innovation Fund acted as the lead investor in ...
(Date:5/21/2017)... ... May 20, 2017 , ... GetLinked® ... Services and financial systems. , Dozens of clubs using ABC Financial Services ... processed through GetLinked into their club’s accounting system , The latest implementation is ...
(Date:5/21/2017)... ... May 21, 2017 , ... For the past ... group of scholars, policymakers, and activists wanting to address equity issues in breastfeeding, ... the third book from a recent series of from this conference. , ...
(Date:5/21/2017)... PA (PRWEB) , ... May 21, 2017 , ... Following ... 2012, New York became the first state to require that hospitals follow a protocol ... controversy in the medical community as to whether such steps would have saved Rory ...
(Date:5/19/2017)... Charlotte, NC (PRWEB) , ... May 19, 2017 ... ... of the Charlotte health community, Queens University of Charlotte recently began recruitment efforts ... The program’s curriculum arms students with the skills, knowledge and expertise to approach ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/8/2017)... 8, 2017 MACRA replaces the outdated ... for service reimbursement. Black Book Research crowdsource-surveyed 8,845 physician ... 1.       The Market for MIPS Compliance Technology is Booming ... practices with 3 or more clinicians seek to buy ... "Given the magnitude of the changes, the hunt is ...
(Date:5/6/2017)... -- May is Stroke Awareness Month and Omron Healthcare is ... to prevent a stroke: monitor and manage your blood ... Prevention, undetected and uncontrolled hypertension is a leading risk ... in personal heart health technology, recently evolved its mission ... stroke and is advancing a national public education effort ...
(Date:5/4/2017)... May 4, 2017  A recent study published ... Ultraviolet-C light as a means of disinfection ... to reduce bioburden on anesthesia workstations. In the ... high-touch, complex medical equipment surfaces contaminated with three ... "This study further validates the body of ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: