LAWFUEL – Law Newswire – R. Alexander Acosta, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Jonathan I. Solomon, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Miami Field Office, Christopher B. Dennis, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, Miami Regional Office, and Bill McCollum, Attorney General, State of Florida, today announced that defendant Abner Diaz, of Miami Lakes, FL, pled guilty on Friday, June 20, 2008, to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and one count of health care fraud; his wife, defendant Mabel Diaz, pled guilty to the same charges today, July 2, 2008; and defendant Suleidy Cano, of Hialeah, FL, pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft today, July 2, 2008.
According to the parties’ joint factual statement in support of the plea, Abner Diaz and Mabel Diaz co-owned and operated All-Med Billing Corp., a Miami medical billing company, where Cano worked as a biller. All-Med submitted claims to Medicare on behalf of suppliers who purportedly provided durable medical equipment (DME) to Medicare beneficiaries. DME is equipment that can be used in the home on a repeated basis for a medical purpose. Where DME is prescribed or ordered by a physician, an authorized Medicare provider who supplies the equipment to a Medicare beneficiary may be eligible for reimbursement by Medicare.
All-Med submitted $419,935,692.74 in fraudulent claims for DME purportedly provided to Medicare beneficiaries by 85 separate DME suppliers. These claims were for equipment that not been ordered by physicians or delivered to the beneficiaries as claimed. As a result of these claims, Medicare paid the suppliers approximately $148,586,919.99.
U.S. Attorney Acosta stated, “At a time when every health care dollar is increasingly precious, we must do everything in our power to prevent these frauds from happening in the first place. But if they do occur, we are prepared to prosecute health care fraud cases aggressively.”
The Diazes face a maximum sentence of ten (10) years’ imprisonment on each count, and are scheduled to be sentenced on August 22, 2008. Cano is scheduled to be sentenced on August 29, 2008, and faces a maximum sentence of ten (10) years’ imprisonment on the conspiracy count and a mandatory consecutive sentence of two years’ imprisonment on the aggravated identity theft count.
Mr. Acosta commended the investigative efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, and the Office of the Attorney General, Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Marc Osborne and Joseph Shumofsky.
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/.