US Attorney – Four Arrested Over Medical Equipment Scam

LAWFUEL – Legal Announcements – 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 arrest of four individuals in connection with a $5.4 million health care fraud and money laundering scheme.

On May 15, 2008, an Indictment charged four Miami residents, Leonardo Lozada, Eliades Diaz, Jimmy A. Soto and Jose D. Claro in Case No. 08-20420-CR-Altonaga, with conspiring to defraud Medicare in connection with the fraudulent submission of $5.4 million in DME-related claims during 2005 and 2006. The claims concerned a Hialeah based durable medical equipment company operating as Med-Pro of Miami, Inc (“Med-Pro”). According to the Indictment, Medicare paid Med-Pro approximately $1.3 million in response to the bogus claims, which were for DME items that were neither prescribed by doctors nor delivered to Medicare patients, most of whom resided in the Fort Pierce area.

Eliades Diaz and Jimmy A. Soto were also charged with additional counts of illegally laundering the fraud proceeds through the cashing checks or withdrawing cash from the Med-Pro bank account. The case came to the attention of the FBI’s Fort Pierce Resident Agency after numerous Treasure Coast resident’s contacted that FBI office to complain about Med-Pro submitting fraudulent claims to the Medicare program.

If convicted, the four defendants face 10 years’ imprisonment on the health care fraud charges. Eliades Diaz and Jimmy A. Soto face up to 20 years’ imprisonment on each of the money laundering charges.

The case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney William J. Parente, Jr. of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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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