USDOJ: Miami-Area Resident Sentenced to 46 Months in Prison for Participating in Medicare Fraud Scheme 
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 USDOJ: Miami-Area Resident Sentenced to 46 Months in Prison for Participating in Medicare Fraud Scheme

Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEMonday, June 11, 2012
Miami-Area Resident Sentenced to 46 Months in Prison for Participating
in Medicare Fraud Scheme
WASHINGTON A Miami-area resident who helped pay illegal kickbacks
and transported ineligible patients to a fraudulent mental health
company was sentenced today to 46 months in prison for her role in a
scheme to falsely bill Medicare, announced the Department of Justice,
the FBI and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Leyanes Placeres, 32, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Patricia A.
Seitz in the Southern District of Florida.? In addition to her prison
term, Placeres was sentenced to three years of supervised release and
was ordered to pay $2.7 million in restitution.? Placeres pleaded
guilty in March 2012 to one count of {*filter*} to commit health care
fraud and one count of {*filter*} to pay and receive illegal

According to court documents, for more than one year, Placeres
transported patients to American Therapeutic Corporation (ATC), a
corporation that purported to operate partial hospitalization programs
(PHPs) in seven different locations throughout south Florida and
Orlando.? A PHP is a form of intensive treatment for severe mental
illness.? The patients Placeres transported did not qualify for the
services purportedly rendered by ATC.? ATC then billed Medicare for
false, fake and fictitious services for the patients transported by
Placeres and others.

According to court documents, Placeres also facilitated on behalf of
ATC the payment of hundreds of thousands of dollars in illegal
kickbacks to owners and operators of assisted living facilities and
halfway houses in order to obtain patients for ATC.

According to court filings, ATCs owners and operators paid kickbacks
to owners and operators of assisted living facilities and halfway
houses and to patient brokers in exchange for delivering ineligible
patients to ATC.? Throughout the course of the fraud {*filter*},
millions of dollars in kickbacks were paid in exchange for Medicare
beneficiaries who did not qualify for PHP services.? The ineligible
beneficiaries attended treatment programs that were not legitimate so
that ATC could bill Medicare for nearly $200 million in medically
unnecessary services.

According to the plea agreement, Placeress participation in the fraud
resulted in approximately $6.5 million in fraudulent billing to the
Medicare program.

ATC, its management company, Medlink Professional Management Group
Inc., and various owners, managers, doctors, therapists, patient
brokers and marketers of ATC, were charged with various health care
fraud, kickback, money laundering and other offenses in two
indictments unsealed on Feb. 15, 2011.? ATC, Medlink and more than 20
of the individual defendants charged in these cases have pleaded
guilty or have been convicted at trial.

Todays sentence was announced by Assistant Attorney General Lanny A.
Breuer of the Justice Departments Criminal Division; U.S. Attorney
Wifredo A. Ferrer of the Southern District of Florida; John V.
Gillies, Special Agent-in-Charge of the FBIs Miami field office; and
Special Agent-in-Charge Christopher Dennis of the HHS Office of
Inspector General (HHS-OIG), Office of Investigations Miami office.

The criminal case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Jennifer L.
Saulino, Robert A. Zink and James V. Hayes of the Fraud Section in the
Justice Departments Criminal Division.? A related civil action is
being handled by Vanessa I. Reed and Carolyn B. Tapie of the Civil
Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney Ted L. Radway of the Southern
District of Florida.? The case was investigated by the FBI and HHS-
OIG, and was brought as part of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force,
supervised by the Criminal Divisions Fraud Section and the U.S.
Attorneys Office for the Southern District of Florida.

Since its inception in March 2007, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force
operations in nine locations have charged more than 1,330 defendants
who collectively have billed the Medicare program for more than $4
billion.? In addition, HHSs Centers for Medicare and Medicaid
Services, working in conjunction with the HHS-OIG are taking steps to
increase accountability and decrease the presence of fraudulent


Wed, 03 Dec 2014 11:00:40 GMT
 [ 1 post ] 

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