Navigation Links
Owner of Medical Equipment Company Sentenced to 130 Months in Prison for Health Care Fraud
Date:7/2/2008

WASHINGTON, July 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A Miami resident was sentenced to 130 months in prison for his role in schemes to defraud the Medicare program, Acting Assistant Attorney General Matthew Friedrich of the Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney R. Alexander Acosta of the Southern District of Florida announced today.

Gustavo Smith, 43, was sentenced today in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida by Judge Marcia G. Cooke. In addition to the prison sentence, Judge Cooke ordered Smith to serve three years of supervised release following his release from prison, forfeit $287,000 and pay $1,988,969 in restitution to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

At trial, the jury heard testimony that Smith was the owner of Medstar Services and Orthotics Fitters of Miami, two durable medical equipment (DME) companies that Smith used to submit more than $4.6 million in fraudulent claims to the Medicare program. The items billed by Medstar Services and Orthotics Fitters to the Medicare program were primarily negative pressure pumps and related wound care supplies. Medicare beneficiaries whose names and Medicare numbers Smith used to bill for these items testified at trial that they had never heard of Smith or his companies and that they never needed or received the items being billed to Medicare by Medstar and Orthotics Fitters. Doctors whose provider numbers were used by Smith to bill the Medicare program also testified that they had never heard of Smith or his companies and that they had never prescribed the items being billed by Smith's companies.

Several of Smith's associates testified at trial that Smith would open companies in the names of nominee owners, who would be listed as owners in official corporate documents, bank accounts and in official Medicare documents. Once Medicare made payments on the fraudulent claims submitted by Smith's companies, Smith employed a money launderer to cash the proceeds of the fraud and transfer the cash to Smith. Witnesses also testified that Smith used the Medicare money to buy jewelry, purchase airline tickets for personal travel and make payments on his Mercedes-Benz.

In addition to the Medstar and Orthotics Fitters fraud, witnesses also testified about several other forms of health care fraud in which Smith engaged, including: brokering the purchase and sale of DME companies for the purpose of "burning Medicare," or submitting more than a million dollars in fraudulent claims within a window of two to three weeks; accepting payments from approximately 180 DME companies in return for agreeing to be listed in official Medicare records as the DME companies' orthotics fitter, when in reality Smith performed no services for those companies; and owning an interest in two additional medical equipment companies that were committing Medicare fraud.

Following a six-day trial, Smith was convicted on April 23, 2008, of all counts contained in a seventeen count indictment, including conspiracy to defraud the United States, to commit health care fraud, and to cause the submission of false claims; seven counts of health care fraud; seven counts of false claims; one count of conspiracy to launder the proceeds of his crimes; and money laundering. Smith was allowed by the court to remain free on bond after his conviction, with the requirement that he be placed on home confinement with electronic monitoring. On June 14, 2008, Smith violated the terms of his release and fled the country. A warrant has been issued for his arrest.

The case was prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Hank Bond Walther and John K. Neal of the Criminal Division's Fraud Section in Washington, D.C., with the investigative assistance of the FBI and HHS, Office of Inspector General. The case was brought as part of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, supervised by the Fraud Section of the Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Acosta of the Southern District of Florida. From investigations opened during the period of Strike Force operations between March and October of 2007, federal prosecutors have indicted 82 cases with 142 defendants in South Florida. Collectively, these defendants billed the Medicare program for more than $492 million.


'/>"/>
SOURCE U.S. Department of Justice
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Great Doctors Produce Great Results (Healthcare Underwriters Group Mutual of Ohio Pays A Cash Dividend): -- Healthcare Underwriters Group Mutual of Ohio Pays Its First Cash Distribution to Its Insured Owners
2. EyeCity.com, Inc. Changes Ownership and Moves Into a New Direction
3. Maine Community Pharmacy Owner Thanks Sen. Snowe for Supporting Inclusion of Common-Sense Reimbursement Provisions in Medicare Bill
4. Oregon Community Pharmacy Owner Thanks Sen. Smith for Supporting Inclusion of Common-Sense Reimbursement Provisions in Medicare Bill
5. Montana Community Pharmacy Owner Thanks Sen. Baucus for Including Common-Sense Reimbursement Provisions in Medicare Bill
6. Economy, Health Care, and Gas Prices Top Issues for Women Business Owners
7. Canine Cancer Web Exclusive for Dog Owners and Lovers, Presented by Morris Animal Foundation - Features Colorado State and Cornell University Veterinary Cancer Experts
8. Warmer Weather Reminds Cat Owners to Protect Against Worms
9. Miami Jury Convicts Pharmacy Owner of Medicare Fraud
10. Comprehensive Pet Care Web Site Takes New Approach in Helping Pet Owners With Their Furry Members of the Family
11. Miami Hospital Market Sees Shift in Ownership of Two Area Facilities
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... of Topricin and MyPainAway Pain Relief Products, join The ‘Business for a Fair Minimum Wage’ ... 2020 and then adjusting it yearly to increase at the same rate as the median ... floor does not erode again, and make future increases more predictable. , The company is ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... EB Medicine presented ... in Emergency Medicine conference in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL. The awards honor the ... Emergency Medicine Practice and Pediatric Emergency Medicine Practice. , “With this award, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Puradigm® & Innovative Solutions today ... cultivation and processing operations at its production facility, and opened its first two ... the manufacturer of a complete system of proactive air and surface purification solutions ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... National recruitment firm Slone Partners is pleased ... and genomics experience, as Vice President of North American Capital Sales at HTG ... leading the sales team in the commercialization of the HTG EdgeSeq system and associated ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Gaithersburg, MD (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 ... ... and protocols for human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells and other difficult to ... PluriQ™ G9™ Cloning Medium. The PluriQ™ G9™ Gene Editing System is ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 ... Oticon , industry leaders in advanced ... launch of Oticon Opn ™, the world,s first ... of possibilities for IoT devices.      (Photo: ... Oticon introduces a number of ,world firsts,: ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- Research and Markets has announced the ... (United States, China, Japan, Brazil, United Kingdom, Germany, France, ... Surgical Procedure Volumes: ... provides surgical procedure volume data in a geographic context. ... analysis of growth drivers and inhibitors, including world population ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- The National Pharmaceutical Council (NPC) today announced that ... organization as its newest member.  ... and chief scientific officer, Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals, will serve ... of Directors. ... in support of our efforts to conduct research ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: