R. Alexander Acosta, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Jonathan I. Solomon, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Teresa Gulotta-Powers, Special Agent in Charge, Department of Justice – Office of the Inspector General, Miami Field Office, William W. Root, Acting Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – Office of the Inspector General, Atlanta Regional Office, and Amos Rojas, Jr., Special Agent in Charge, Florida Department of Law Enforcement – Miami Regional Operations Center, announced today that defendant Lester Miranda, age 31, of Miami Beach, Florida, pled guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud (Count 1) and conspiracy to commit money laundering (Count 23). The defendant also agreed to forfeit $2,042,633 and real property, described as Normandy Isle Golf Course, SUB PB 44-62 Lot 7 Block 50. Sentencing is scheduled May 2, 2008 before United States District Court Judge Adalberto Jordan.
According to the indictment and other court documents, Lester Miranda owned and established a medical clinic in Hialeah, Florida, called United Life Corp., which was used to defraud the Medicare program. Luis Garcia Higgins was the physician’s assistant employed by the clinic and Rupert Francis served as the clinic’s physician. Garcia Higgins and Francis had been employed full-time by the United States Bureau of Prisons. Francis was employed as a staff physician and Garcia Higgins was employed as a physician’s assistant at the Federal Detention Center-Miami until their resignations in April 2006.
Initially, United Life clinic saw various patients who were treated for a wide range of ailments and complaints. In September 2004, the clinic saw an influx of HIV patients, and eventually HIV patients became the only patients treated at the clinic. The clinic stopped treating patients in February 2005. From approximately January 2004 through approximately February 2005, United Life billed $7,785,856 and received $2,042,633 in Medicare reimbursements based upon claims for alleged treatments of intravenous immune globulin medications that purportedly were administered to treat the HIV patients who attended the clinic.
Defendant Miranda has also agreed to plead guilty to Counts 1 and 2 of a criminal information filed in the West Palm Beach district court, charging him with mail fraud and money laundering. Lester Miranda will also plead guilty to Counts 1 and 2 of a second criminal information charging him with health care fraud and money laundering.
Mr. Acosta commended the investigative efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Justice – Office of the Inspector General, Miami Field Office, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – Office of the Inspector General, and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. This case is being handled by Assistant United States Attorney Christopher J. Clark.
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.