WASHINGTON—Several patient recruiters, including two medical clinic owners, have been arrested in connection with a health care fraud scheme involving defunct home health care company Flores Home Health Care Inc. (Flores Home Health).
Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; U.S. Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer of the Southern District of Florida; Special Agent in Charge Michael B. Steinbach of the FBI’s Miami Field Office; and Special Agent in Charge Christopher Dennis of the HHS Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG) Office of Investigations Miami Office made the announcement.
In an indictment returned on September 24, 2013, and unsealed this afternoon, Isabel Medina, 49, and Lerida Labrada, 59, were charged with conspiracy to commit health care fraud, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison upon conviction. Together with Mayra Flores, 49, and German Martinez, 36, Medina and Labrada also face charges for allegedly conspiring to defraud the United States and to receive health care kickbacks, as well as receipt of kickbacks in connection with a federal health care program, which carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison upon conviction.
According to the indictment, the defendants worked as patient recruiters for the owners and operators of Flores Home Health, a Miami home health care agency that purported to provide home health and physical therapy services to Medicare beneficiaries. Medina and Labrada were also the owners and operators of Miami medical clinics, which allegedly provided fraudulent prescriptions to the owners and operators of Flores Home Health.
Flores Home Health was allegedly operated for the purpose of billing the Medicare program for, among other services, expensive physical therapy and home health care services that were not medically necessary and/or were not provided.