LAWFUEL – Florida Legal News – R. Alexander Acosta, United…

LAWFUEL – Florida Legal News – R. Alexander Acosta, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Alice S. Fisher, Assistant Attorney General, United States Department of Justice, Criminal Division, Melody Jackson, Special Agent in Charge, Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, Miami Field Office, and Jonathan I. Solomon, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Miami Field Office, today announced the Indictment of defendants Julian Torres, a Florida-licensed physician, Elsa Dominguez and Marcos Martinez, the owners of a durable medical equipment company, in a Medicare fraud scheme.

Julian Torres, Marcos Martinez, and Elsa Dominguez were arrested on January 30, 2007 after a Miami grand jury returned an Indictment against them earlier in the day. The defendants made their initial appearance in federal court today. Torres and Dominguez were each released on a $100,000 bond. Martinez is scheduled to appear for a pre-trail detention hearing on February 9, 2007.

The 18-count Indictment charges the defendants with one count of conspiracy to defraud Medicare and to commit various federal crimes. The Indictment also charges the defendants with five counts of health care fraud. Martinez and Dominguez are separately charged with six counts of paying health care kickbacks. Torres was separately charged with six counts of receiving health care kickbacks. The conspiracy and kickback charges each carry a maximum term of 5 years’ imprisonment. The health care charges each carry a maximum term of 10 years’ imprisonment.

As charged in the Indictment, from August 2003 through June 2005, Dominguez, the owner and operator of Carob Med Services, Inc., and defendants Martinez and Torres, a licensed physician, with defrauding Medicare through the submission of fraudulent claims for medically unnecessary medical equipment. According to the Indictment, as part of the scheme, Martinez and Dominguez paid approximately $20,000 in kickbacks to Torres to prescribe medically unnecessary equipment and supplies for Medicare patients. Thereafter, Carob submitted claims for reimbursement for the cost of the equipment. Carob submitted approximately $2 million in claims to Medicare and was paid approximately $1 million, according to the Indictment.

Mr. Acosta commended the investigative efforts of the Office of Inspector General, United States Department of Health and Human Services, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by attorneys Kirk Godowsky, Jeffrey A. Neiman, and Robert Decent, all with the U.S. Department of Justice, Criminal Division, Fraud Section, in Washington, D.C.

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 http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

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