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Miami Physicians Sentenced to Prison for Their Roles in a $6.8 Million Medicare Fraud Scheme
Date:11/20/2008

WASHINGTON, Nov. 20 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Miami physicians Carlos Contreras, 61, and Ramon Pichardo, 58, were sentenced today to 37 months and 48 months in prison, respectively, for defrauding the Medicare program in connection with a $6.8 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.

Judge Federico A. Moreno of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida also ordered that Contreras and Pichardo be placed on three years of supervised release following their prison terms and that they pay $4.2 million in restitution to the Medicare trust fund.

On Sept. 11, 2008, Contreras and Pichardo each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud. Contreras pleaded guilty in connection with his role as the owner and medical doctor at CNC Medical Corp. (CNC Medical), a Miami-area HIV clinic that purported to provide HIV infusion services to Medicare beneficiaries. Pichardo pleaded guilty in connection with his role as a medical doctor at CNC Medical. In their pleas, Contreras and Pichardo admitted that between November 2002 and April 2004, they conspired with others to file $6.8 million in false claims to the Medicare program for HIV infusion services that were not provided, nor were they medically necessary. As a result of their fraud, the Medicare program paid approximately $4.2 million in fraudulent bills. Contreras admitted that after Medicare proceeds were deposited into the CNC Medical bank accounts, he transferred approximately $1.7 million of the proceeds to sham management, marketing and investment companies owned and operated by alleged co-conspirators Carlos, Luis and Jose Benitez.

Carlos Benitez, Luis Benitez and Thomas McKenzie were charged separately with health care fraud and m
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SOURCE U.S. Department of Justice
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