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Seven Miami-Area Residents Charged in $11 Million Medicare Fraud Scheme
Date:4/2/2008

WASHINGTON, April 2, 2008 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Seven Miami-area residents have been indicted in connection with an $11 million Medicare fraud scheme involving HIV infusion clinics, 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.

Dr. Ana Alvarez, 54, Mariela Rodriguez, 39, Aisa Perera, 42, Beatriz Delgado, 48, Angel Rodriguez, 40, Sandra Mateos, 43, and Carmen Gonzalez, 33, were all charged today in federal district court in Miami with: conspiracy to defraud the United States, to cause the submission of false claims, to pay health care kickbacks, and conspiracy to commit health care fraud. The indictment also seeks forfeiture of assets held by all named defendants. Mariela Rodriguez, Perera, and Delgado also were charged with four counts of submitting false claims to the Medicare program. Alvarez also was charged with three counts of submitting false claims and Mariela Rodriguez was charged with one count of perjury.

According to the indictment, Mariela Rodriguez and Perera incorporated Saint Jude Rehab Center, Inc. (Saint Jude) in April 2003 as a medical clinic that purported to specialize in treating HIV patients. Delgado, a receptionist at Saint Jude, agreed to be incorrectly listed on filed corporate records as president and registered agent of Saint Jude. Mariela Rodriguez and Perera hired Dr. Alvarez to work at Saint Jude despite having no prior expertise in the clinic's proclaimed specialty of treating HIV patients. Dr. Alvarez ordered unnecessary tests, signed medical analysis and diagnosis forms, and authorized treatments without regard to medical necessity, to make it appear that legitimate medical services were being provided to HIV patients receiving Medicare benefits.

The indictment further charges that during the conspiracy, Mariela Rodriguez, Perera, and Delgado withdrew cash from Saint Jude's bank accou
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SOURCE U.S. Department of Justice
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