Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Miami Doctor Sentenced To 30 Years For Heathcare Fraud

Dr. Ana Alvarez-Jacinto, 54, of Miami, Florida, was sentenced today to 30 years in prison for her role in a massive healthcare fraud scheme involving fraudulent AIDS/HIV Medicare reimbursements. It is one of the stiffest sentences for a Medicare fraud to date. FraudTalk has chronicled the ongoing prosecution of this type of healthcare fraud in Florida here and here. According to prosecutors, Dr. Alvarez-Jacinto was the front person at the Saint Jude Rehab Center Inc., an AIDS clinic in Miami, who conspired with Carlos Benitez and Luis Benitez, Cuban immigrant brothers and others, who succeeded in bilking the Medicare program out of some $119 million in total. She was convicted in October on one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States, to submit false claims and to pay healthcare kickbacks, one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, and three counts of the submission of false claims to the Medicare program. Her part in the fraud amounted to some $11 million. Another conspirator in the scheme and co-defendant, Sandra Mateos, 44, who was a nurse at the clinic, was convicted on two conspiracy counts and sentenced to 7 years in prison. Saint Jude Rehab Center was managed by Aisa Perera and Mariela Rodriguez, who have also been prosecuted and convicted on similar charges in this case as conspirators in the overall fraud. The Benitez brothers remain fugitives from the US, but are being held in jail in Cuba on immigration violations, according to authorities.

Read the story here, here and here.

Read the DOJ announcement of her conviction here.

1 comment:

Elaine Renoire said...

What about guardians and their attorneys who knowing and willingly pauperize their wards -- forcing them on Medicaid at taxpayer expense.

Medicaid fraud?

You bet!