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Nine Miami Defendants in Strike Force Cases Sentenced for $56.5 Million in Medicare Fraud
Date:1/23/2008

WASHINGTON, Jan. 23 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher of the Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney R. Alexander Acosta of the Southern District of Florida announced today that owners of nine separate Miami-based health care corporations have been sentenced to prison terms within the past two weeks. Collectively, the nine defendants filed fraudulent claims with Medicare for $56,599,832 worth of unnecessary durable medical equipment (DME) and infusion therapy.

The nine defendants sentenced in Miami are: (1) Luis Soto, 41, sentenced to 87 months in prison; (2) Noel Rodriguez, 50, sentenced to 51 months in prison; (3) Rosabel Gonzalez, 32, sentenced to 30 months in prison; (4) Christian Vasquez, 22, sentenced to 41 months in prison; (5) Maria De La Serna, 55, sentenced to 19 months in prison; (6) Ariel Betancourt, 35, sentenced to 24 months in prison; (7) Jose Prieto, 58, sentenced to 41 months in prison; (8) Armando Jorge Herrera, 27, sentenced to 36 months in prison; and (9) Reinaldo Lopez, 40, sentenced to 46 months in prison.

Soto was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Marcia G. Cooke on January 23, 2008. Soto owned and operated Ocean Medical Equipment, Adriana Medical Supply, Advance Medical Equipment, Family Health Medical Equipment, First AA Medical, KB Medical Services, Rossmary Medical Supplies, R&R Medical Equipment, Sagua Medical Supplies, Telimay Medical Service, West Side Medical, Future Medical Center, Siboney Medical Center, and Tampa Trauma that billed for items such as oxygen concentrators, nebulizers and wheelchairs that were never provided. Soto submitted claims to Medicare for unnecessary medical equipment and he caused the submission of false claims for pharmaceuticals. In total, Soto, through his companies, was responsible for over $47 million in false claims to Medicare. Soto pleaded guilty on October 16, 2007.

Rodriguez was sentenced by U.S. District Judge James Lawrence King on Ja
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SOURCE U.S. Department of Justice
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