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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 proceed
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SOURCE U.S. Department of Justice
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