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Miami HIV Clinic Administrator and Two Miami Residents Sentenced for Their Roles in a $14 Million Medicare Fraud Scheme
Date:11/18/2008

the laundered funds, enabling Castaneda to retain eight percent of the value of the checks cashed. In all, Castaneda laundered approximately $1.8 million in the proceeds of the Medicare fraud at G&S. In his plea, Castaneda also admitted to laundering an additional $2 million for Best Medical Inc., another fraudulent Miami HIV infusion clinic.

In his plea, Frias admitted that he was the registered agent of G&S and was a signatory on the company's bank accounts. Frias further admitted that he was aware that G&S submitted fraudulent claims to the Medicare program, and that he agreed to assist Marinez in dispersing and laundering approximately $550,000 in proceeds of the fraud. Frias admitted that he signed checks in amounts of more than $10,000 drawn on the G&S bank account and made out to corporations that he and Marinez controlled, knowing that the funds were derived from G&S's fraudulent claims to Medicare. Frias further admitted to writing several large checks on G&S's bank account to sham marketing and management companies controlled by the Benitez brothers.

In a related case, Carlos, Luis and Jose Benitez, as well as Thomas McKenzie, were indicted on June 11, 2008, for their role in a $110 million HIV infusion and money laundering scheme. The indictment alleges that the Benitez brothers were the masterminds of a massive HIV infusion fraud operation throughout South Florida involving at least 11 clinics and that they laundered the proceeds of their crimes. Also, according to the indictment, Carlos and Luis Benitez were the true owners of G&S. All three Benitez brothers remain fugitives, while McKenzie pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud and submitting false claims to the Medicare program. McKenzie's sentencing is scheduled for Dec.11, 2008.

The case was prosecuted by Hank Bond Walther and John K. Neal of the Criminal Division's Fraud Section,
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SOURCE U.S. Department of Justice
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