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

oney laundering crimes in an indictment unsealed on June 11, 2008. According to that indictment, these co-conspirators allegedly provided the money and staff necessary to open HIV clinics, the Medicare patients that the clinics would bill to the Medicare program and transportation for the HIV patients who visited the clinics. Also according the indictment, Carlos and Luis Benitez were the true owners of the clinics. The Benitez brothers and McKenzie were charged for their roles at the clinics and eight other HIV infusion clinics. On Sept. 18, 2008, McKenzie pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and one count of submitting false claims to the Medicare program, and admitted to his role in a $119 million HIV infusion fraud scheme. Carlos, Luis and Jose Benitez remain fugitives.

The cases were prosecuted by Assistant Chief Hank Bond Walther and Trial Attorney John K. Neal of the Criminal Division's Fraud Section, and Trial Attorney Constantine Lizas of the Criminal Division's Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section. The FBI and Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General, investigated the cases.

The cases were brought as part of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force (MFSF), supervised by Deputy Chief Kirk Ogrosky of the Criminal Division's Fraud Section and U.S. Attorney Acosta of the Southern District of Florida. Since the inception of MFSF operations in 2007, federal prosecutors have indicted 104 cases with 184 defendants in Los Angeles and Miami. Collectively, these defendants fraudulently billed the Medicare program for more than half a billion dollars.


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SOURCE U.S. Department of Justice
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