Miami Patient Recruiters Plead Guilty in $20 Million Health Care Fraud By Tod Aronovitz | 07/29/14 | 0 Comment

Four Miami patient recruiters who worked for the owners and operators of Miami health care agency Trust Care pleaded guilty for their roles in a $20 million health care fraud scheme. The four were apprehended as part of a coordinated South Florida Medicare fraud sweep this past spring that we reported on our May 22 ARONOVITZ LAW Blog.

On July 11, Estrella Perez, 57, and Solchys Perez, 34, both pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud, while Abigail Aguila, 40, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the United States and receive health care kickbacks. Monica Macias, 52, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the United States and receive health care kickbacks on June 17.

According to an announcement by the U.S. Department of Justice, the defendants recruited patients for Trust Care, a now defunct physical therapy facility that operated for the sole purpose of billing Medicare for expensive treatments and services that were not medically necessary or provided.

The Miami patient recruiters solicited and received kickbacks and bribes in return for allowing Trust Care to bill Medicare on behalf of their recruited Medicare patients, most of whom did not require or receive care, court documents disclosed.

In addition, Estrella and Solchys Perez paid kickbacks and bribes to co-conspirators in other doctors’ offices and clinics in exchange for home health and therapy prescriptions, plans of care, and medical certifications for their recruited patients. Co-conspirators at Trust Care then used the documentation to fraudulently bill the Medicare program for home health care services.

From approximately March 2007 through at least January 2010, Trust Care submitted more than $20 million in claims for home health services.  Medicare paid Trust Care more than $15 million for these fraudulent claims.

Sentencing for Monica Macias is scheduled for September 10 before U.S. District Judge Darrin P. Gayles of the Southern District of Florida. Judge Gayles will also sentence Estrella Perez, Solchys Perez and Abigail Aguila on September 18.

How to Report Miami Medicare Fraud

Healthcare professionals or medical billing employees who have knowledge of questionable Medicare billing practices can file a confidential legal claim under the False Claims Act. By acting as a “whistleblower” in what is known as a “qui tam” lawsuit, a private party may collect up to 30 percent of the amount recovered, depending on how the case is prosecuted.

ARONOVITZ LAW: Miami Whistleblower / Qui Tam Law Firm

The Miami Qui Tam law firm of ARONOVITZ LAW routinely works with whistleblowers to document Medicare fraud and other forms of fraud against the government. Contact Miami Whistleblower / Qui Tam lawyer Tod Aronovitz to discuss your case.