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Miami Physician Sentenced to 30 Years in Prison for $11 Million Medicare Fraud Scheme
Date:12/17/2008

Prison Sentence One of the Longest Ever Received by a Physician in a Medicare Fraud Case

WASHINGTON, Dec. 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A Miami physician and nurse were sentenced today to 30 years and seven years in prison, respectively, in connection with their roles in an $11 million HIV infusion fraud scheme, Acting Assistant Attorney General Matthew Friedrich of the Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney R. Alexander Acosta of the Southern District of Florida announced. The 30-year prison sentence is one of the longest terms ever given to a physician in a federal Medicare fraud case.

Ana Alvarez-Jacinto, 54, and Sandra Mateos, 44, were sentenced today in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida by Chief District Judge Federico Moreno. In addition to their prison sentences, Judge Moreno ordered both Alvarez-Jacinto and Mateos to serve three years of supervised release following their prison term and to pay $8,289,286 in restitution to the Medicare program.

Alvarez-Jacinto and Mateos were found guilty by a Miami jury on Oct. 17, 2008, after a two-week trial on one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States, to submit false claims, and to pay healthcare kickbacks, and one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud. Alvarez-Jacinto was also convicted of three counts of submitting false claims to the Medicare program.

Evidence at trial established that the defendants worked at Saint Jude Rehab Center, Inc. (St. Jude), a clinic that purported to specialize in treating AIDS patients. Evidence at trial established that St. Jude was operated and owned by Carlos and Luis Benitez, and managed by convicted co-conspirators Aisa Perera and Mariela Rodriguez.

According to evidence presented at trial, in a five-month period between June and November 2003, Alvarez-Jacinto, with the assistance of Mateos, ordered hundreds of medically un
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SOURCE U.S. Department of Justice
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