Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Miami Residents Sentenced In Federal Court For Roles At HIV Infusion Clinics That Fraudulently Billed Medicare

The Florida health care fraud cases continue to be the sore spot of the country. This was a case of outright fraud and abuse but it shows how the system allows $12 million in Medicare payments to be made where the HIV clinics were based on fraud and kickbacks.

On November 13, 2009, Manuel Camacho, was sentenced in Miami federal court for his participation in a Medicare fraud scheme at HIV infusion clinics in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties, providing infusion drug therapy treatments to patients suffering from AIDS or HIV.
Alejandro Gonzalez was sentenced on October 1, 2009 and Roberto Rodriguez was sentenced on November 3, 2009. These men were indicted in April 2009 and their sentences follow guilty pleas.

According to documents filed with the court, between November 2003 and November 2006, Mr. Gonzalez and Mr. Rodriguez established medical clinics in South Florida, purportedly to administer infusion therapies for the treatment of AIDS patients. In the plea agreement, it was admitted that no treatments were rendered and patients received a kickback for signing-in at the clinic. Messrs. Gonzalez and Rodriguez admitted to billing Medicare for millions of dollars for treatments that were not rendered and, were not medically necessary. In sum, they billed Medicare for approximately $40 million, of which Medicare paid about $12 million.

The role of Mr. Camacho according to court documents is that he was recruited by Messrs. Gonzalez and Rodriguez to be the nominee owner of one of the clinics and was listed on the clinic’s bank accounts. Mr. Camacho admitted to writing checks and purchasing boats and luxury automobiles as directed by Messrs. Gonzalez and Rodriguez to launder the proceeds of the Medicare fraud. Mr. Camacho admitted that he was involved in laundering more than $1 million from the clinic.

Manuel Camacho plead guilty to one count of money laundering conspiracy and received the lightest sentence. He was sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment, to be followed by two years of supervised release. His lighter sentence reflects his role as having been recruited to be the nominal owner. In addition, based on the fact that he was sentenced last, it appears he also cooperated with the government against the other two men charged.

Roberto Rodriguez plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and was sentenced on November 3, 2009 to 102 months’ imprisonment, to be followed by 3 years of supervised release, and was ordered to pay restitution of $9,555,269.

Alejandro Gonzalez plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and was sentenced on October 1, 2009 to 96 months’ imprisonment, to be followed by 3 years of supervised release, and was ordered to pay restitution of $11,935,761.76.

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/.

Any questions or comments should be directed to: tgreen@greenassoc.com. Tracy Green is a principal at Green and Associates in Los Angeles, California. They focus their practice on the representation of licensed professionals, individuals and businesses in civil, business, administrative and criminal proceedings. They have a specialty in health care fraud cases. Their website is: http://www.greenassoc.com/


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