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Defendant charged with medicare fraud sentenced in federal court

Posted on November 22, 2010 12:00 AM EST

A local man appeared in federal court and received a 57 month prison sentence for his involvement in a Medicare fraud scheme involving millions of dollars. Jose Garcia was sentenced for the alleged improprieties surrounding his Miami HIV clinic. The defendant appeared with his Miami criminal attorney at the sentencing hearing before a United States District judge. Initially, the defendant received a bond at his first appearance hearing, but soon absconded. He surrendered to the FBI earlier this year and remained in custody for violating the conditions of his pre-trial release.

The indictment alleged that the defendant committed large scale Medicare fraud with other co-conspirators. The group operated a clinic called Global Med-Care Corp., Inc., which like in so many South Florida cases billed Medicare for HIV treatments that were not medically necessary or that were never provided to patients. In order to procure patients, the clinic paid kickbacks to secure their presence for treatment or for a lack of treatment. According to court documents the clinic through the defendant billed Medicare in excess of $10.9 million.

Another co-defendant received a 30 month sentence after he pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit Medicare fraud. Three other defendants were also indicted for their involvement. The indictment alleged that these individuals fronted the money to open and staff the clinic. These defendants were charged in a different indictment and one has already pled guilty and been sentenced. The sentences he received were much harsher at 14 years because the fraud exceeded $100 million. These defendants were also charged with money laundering. Two of the defendants have fled and are fugitives. Once apprehended the federal government will seek an extradition back to Miami for trial.

Like in all recent Medicare fraud cases, the Strike Forces compiled by the federal government were responsible for the arrest. The Strike Force continues to operate in seven districts which are responsible for the most Medicare fraud in the United States. They are responsible for obtaining indictments on 825 individuals involved in Medicare and healthcare fraud in general. Anyone being arrested for or charged with Medicare fraud should consult with a criminal defense law firm experienced in defending these matters in federal court.

Operator of Miami HIV Clinic Sentenced to 57 Months in Prison for Role in Medicare Fraud Ring, The Cypress Times.com, November 19, 2010.
Categories: Fraud