LAWFUEL – US Litigation – R. Alexander Acosta, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida; Melody Jackson, Special Agent in Charge, Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, Atlanta Region; Michael K. Fithen, Special Agent in Charge, United States Secret Service; and Chief Carlos Noriega, Miami Beach Police Department, announced that two defendants charged in a health care fraud ring were arrested earlier today.
The indictment, which was unsealed this morning upon the defendants’ arrests, charges Joaquin Alonso, a/k/a “Kiki Alonso,” and Luis Polanco with conspiracy to defraud the Medicare program, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1349, and using and trafficking in a counterfeit access device, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1029(a)(1). The indictment also charges Polanco with aggravated identity theft, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1028A(a)(1). The case has been assigned to United States District Judge Donald M. Middlebrooks.
The defendants made their initial appearance today, Tuesday, January 8, 2008, before a federal magistrate judge in Miami. A third defendant, Jose Ramon Alonso Barcelo, will have his initial appearance on Wednesday, January 9, 2008.
According to the indictment, Prestige Diagnostic Corporation was a diagnostic examination company located in Miami-Dade County. Through this company, the three defendants billed Medicare for diagnostic examination procedures in the amount of approximately $1,228,857 for reimbursement. In fact no diagnostic examinations or any other health care benefits were provided as the defendants claimed to Medicare. From March through July 2007, Medicare paid approximately $600,930.38 on the defendants’ allegedly fraudulent reimbursement claims.
Mr. Acosta commended the joint investigative efforts of the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General, the United States Secret Service, and the Miami Beach Police Department. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jeffrey Tsai.
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 .