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HIV Infusion Clinic Administrator Sentenced to 30 Months in Prison For Health Care Fraud
Date:7/10/2008

cessary. Medicare paid more than $8.2 million of the $11.3 million in fraudulent claims. As part of the conspiracy, Perera and her co-defendants allegedly paid patients who attended Saint Jude approximately $100 to $150 in cash kickbacks per visit and then hired a medical biller for the purpose of altering the bills being submitted to the Medicare program to make them appear legitimate. The co-defendants, Mariela Rodriguez, Beatriz Delgado, Carmen Gonzalez and Sandra Mateos, were indicted along with Perera on April 2, 2008.

In a related case, on Aug. 28, 2007, medical biller Rita Campos-Ramirez pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and one count of submitting false claims to the Medicare program, in connection with her participation in the Saint Jude fraud scheme and approximately 74 other HIV infusion fraud schemes. In connection with her plea, Campos-Ramirez admitted that over the course of three and a half years, she submitted approximately $170 million in fraudulent bills to the Medicare program on behalf of approximately 75 health clinics that purported to provide HIV infusion services to Medicare beneficiaries. Of the $170 million that was billed, approximately $105 million was paid by Medicare. On April 2, 2008, the Honorable Alan S. Gold sentenced Campos-Ramirez to 12 years in prison.

In another related case, on June 12, 2007, Dr. Orestes Alvarez-Jacinto pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud in connection with his participation in the Saint Jude fraud scheme. In connection with his plea, Alvarez-Jacinto admitted to authorizing and approving the use of the drug WinRho, along with a mix of various vitamin supplements, for each HIV patient he was seeing, knowing that the HIV patients did not need WinRho and that the drug could actually harm them. During this period, Alvarez-Jacinto signed bills for WinRho treatments that misrepresented the amount of drugs actually administered to the
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SOURCE U.S. Department of Justice
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