Lawfuel – The Law Newswire – R. Alexander Acosta, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida and Jonathan I. Solomon, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, announced today the unsealing of an eighteen-count Indictment charging defendant Gianni Suarez Vazquez with mail fraud, money laundering, aggravated identity theft, and filing false claims. If convicted, Suarez Vazquez faces a maximum of 20 years’ imprisonment on these charges
Vazquez fled the United States for Costa Rica in August 2004 and had been a fugitive for almost three years. According to the Indictment, Gianna Suarez Vazquez incorporated or purchased several medical equipment companies in Palm Beach County, including GK Medical Equipment, Inc., and Suplident International Corporation. To conceal his ownership and control of these companies, Suarez Vazquez used nominee owners, including his mother, on the companies’ Articles of Incorporation and Medicare-related documents. Suarez Vazquez, either directly or through others, obtained patient and physician information, which he used to prepare false and fraudulent Medicare claims.
To support the fraudulent claims, Suarez Vazquez caused false prescriptions and/or certificates of medical necessity to be prepared, on which the ordering physicians’ signatures were forged. Suarez Vazquez contracted with Miami billing companies to transmit over $9 million of fraudulent Medicare claims. Suarez Vazquez received more than $2 million from Medicare for these completely bogus claims. To conceal his receipt and control of the Medicare checks issued to the companies, Suarez Vazquez, either personally or through a nominee owner, cashed most of the Medicare checks at check cashing stores in Miami and Hialeah.
Suarez Vaquez’ mother, Maura Vazquez, was also charged in the Indictment. Maura Vazquez was charged with one count of criminal contempt for failing to appear in response to a subpoena issued by a grand jury investigating this matter.
Mr. Acosta commended the Federal Bureau of Investigation for their investigation of this matter. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States 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 www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.