LAWFUEL – Legal News Network -R. Alexander Acosta, United …

LAWFUEL – Legal News Network -R. Alexander Acosta, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Melody Jackson, Special Agent in Charge, Office of the Inspector General, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and Jonathan I. Solomon, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Miami Field Office, announced today the filing of an Indictment in connection with their investigation of a massive kickback network involving local assisted living facilities, medical equipment companies, pharmacies and physicians. To date, thirty-three persons have been convicted of kickback and Medicare fraud charges in connection with this investigation.

Today’s charges involve defendant Jose Luis Ferreiro, who managed International Surgical-Med Pharmaceuticals Corporation (“International”) and Lexa Medical Supplies, Inc. (“Lexa”), both Miami pharmacies. Ferreiro was charged by Indictment with one count of conspiring to violate the Medicare Anti-Kickback Statute and six counts of paying illegal kickbacks. The government alleges that between February 2002 and April 2004, Ferreiro paid illegal kickbacks to numerous medical equipment owners in return for their referral of patients to International and Lexa.

According to the charges, Ferreiro would deliver respiratory medications to the referred patients on a monthly basis and then bill Medicare for the cost of such medications. After receiving his monthly payment from Medicare, Ferreiro would kickback approximately 50% of the payment to the medical equipment owners as a referral fee. During the course of the conspiracy, Ferreiro paid over a million dollars in kickbacks. In order to obtain the cash needed to pay the kickbacks, Ferreiro set up shell companies in his and his wife’s names which he used to cash checks. Ferreiro is facing a maximum of five years on the charges.

Mr. Acosta commended the Department of Health and Human Services and the Federal Bureau of Investigation for their investigation of this matter. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Adrienne Rabinowitz.

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/ .

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