28 April – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – Marcos Daniel Jiménez, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida; and Michael S. Clemens, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, announced today that a federal jury convicted defendants, Jorge Humberto Forcada and Clark Carlton Mitchell, in a multi-million dollar medicare fraud scheme involving local medical clinics that were fraudulently dispensing HIV medications, following a several week trial before United States District Court Judge Cecilia M. Altonaga, in Miami, Florida. With today’s guilty verdicts, all nine (9) individuals indicted in connection with this health care fraud scheme have been convicted.
Forcada, a doctor, was convicted by the jury of one (1) count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371, and eight (8) substantive counts of health care fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1347. Mitchell, also a doctor, was convicted by the jury of one (1) count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371, and four (4) substantive counts of health care fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1347. The defendants face a maximum statutory term of imprisonment of five (5) years and a maximum fine of $250,000, on the health care fraud conspiracy charge, and a maximum term of imprisonment of ten (10) years and a maximum fine of $250,000, on each of the substantive health care fraud charges. Sentencing is scheduled for July 19, 2005, at 8:30 a.m., before Judge Altonaga.
The two (2) doctors, along with other co-conspirators, used the Bolanos Institute and Lefebvre Institute to fraudulently bill Medicare for alleged intravenous infusion treatments involving HIV medications, Neupogen and Procrit, that were either not provided to patients or were not medically necessary. Both doctors falsified patient medical diagnoses and documentation in order to help conceal the fact that patients were not receiving the Neupogen and Procrit treatments that were billed to Medicare.
From about February 2002 through June 2003, the Bolanos Institute and Lefebvre Institute received approximately $5 million in Medicare payments, all of which were reimbursements for claims relating to Neupogen and Procrit. The two clinics closed in July 2003. During that month, the United States Attorney’s Office filed a civil injunctive action and was eventually able to freeze approximately $300,000 held in bank accounts connected with the conspiracy.
Mr. Jiménez commended the investigative efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The criminal case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Barbara Martinez and Matthew Axelrod. The civil lawsuit was handled by former Assistant United States Attorney Lisa Barquist.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls . Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on .