LawFuel.com – US Attorney, US Law Jobs – R. Alexander Acosta, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Jonathan I. Solomon, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Melody Jackson, Special Agent in Charge, United States Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, Office of Investigations announced the conviction of a South Florida attorney.
Benjamin R. Metsch today pleaded guilty to an Information that charged him with conspiracy to commit Medicare fraud.
As alleged in court documents, from October 2002 through August 2004, Metsch conspired with another individual to facilitate the fraudulent sales of 67 South Florida durable medical equipment (DME) companies.
According to the Information, the sales involved nominee, or “straw” purchasers, who acted in the place of the true purchasers of the DME companies. Metsch and his co-conspirator, who was not named, utilized various legal documents that were part of the sales transactions in order to conceal the involvement of the true purchasers.
According to court documents, Metsch’s use of the legal documents prevented Medicare from receiving timely notification of the changes in ownership, impairing Medicare’s ability to oversee the activities of the DME companies.
According to a plea agreement filed in connection with the case, Metsch’s law firm earned approximately $103,000 from the fraudulent transactions. In the plea agreement, Metsch has agreed to pay $103,000 in restitution to Medicare.
Metsch faces a maximum statutory sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment and a $250,000 fine when he is sentenced before United States District Court Judge Ursula Ungaro-Benages. Metsch’s sentencing has been scheduled for May 18, 2007.
Mr. Acosta commended the investigative efforts of the investigating agencies, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney David Frank.
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 http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov/ or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov/.