Man sentenced to 22 years for medicare fraud
Posted on October 08, 2010 12:00 AM EST
A South Florida man was sentenced to 22 years in prison in federal court for his involvement in a multi-million Medicare fraud scheme. The defendant appeared with his Miami criminal attorney
at his sentencing hearing. Defense counsel portrayed the defendant as a compassionate person while government prosecutors portrayed Ihosvany Marquez as a greedy scam artist living the high life with stolen taxpayer money used to fund the federal healthcare program known as Medicare. In total, the indictment alleged that Marquez and his partner Michel De Jesus Huarte along with their co-conspirators bilked the federal healthcare system out of $22 million.
Marquez earlier in the year entered guilty pleas to the charges of healthcare fraud
, identity theft
and money laundering
. Huarte also entered guilty pleas to the same charges and received an identical sentence. Federal judges will generally impose the same sentence for defendants who are engaged in similar conduct. The only way the defendants could have sought a significant sentence reduction would have been to enter into a cooperation agreement with the federal government. Huarte and Marquez were the alleged ringleaders of the Medicare fraud and the government usually likes to work from the bottom to the top. That being the case, the government did not need these defendants cooperation to assist in the prosecution.
Government prosecutors painfully laid out for the federal judge presiding over the case the lavish lifestyle that Marquez lived as a result of the purported fraud he committed. They argued to the judge that the proceeds of the massive healthcare fraud were used to purchase expensive homes, automobiles, jewelry and race horses. The prosecution also admitted a dinner bill in the amount of $60,000 from the Forge Restaurant in Miami Beach. The defendant allegedly took family and friends to the expensive restaurant with taxpayer money. The judge displayed no sympathy for Marquez after she heard how he spent the illegally obtained money.
While the number of Medicare fraud cases
being prosecuted in the Southern District of Florida have appeared to slow down, the reason may that the emergence of the Medicare fraud strike forces are acting as a deterrent. The other reason for the slowdown may be the systems of checks and balances recently imported into the healthcare system to detect fraud. Members of Congress and the President himself have had an ongoing concern about the amount of healthcare fraud being committed, especially in light of the recently passed healthcare reform laws. Anyone being investigated for or having been arrested on healthcare fraud allegations should immediately speak with a criminal defense law firm that has experience in defending these types of cases in federal court. The consequences of being prosecuted for this offense is apparent based on the sentences received by defendants mentioned earlier.
Convicted Miami-Dade Medicare Scammer Blow $60,000 at The Forge, The Miami Herald.com, October 8, 2010.