Straw Owner of Rehab Dynamics Sentenced in $28 Million Medicare Fraud By Tod Aronovitz | 04/09/14 | 0 Comment

Roberto Fernandez Gonzalez, a Southwest Florida man who emigrated from Cuba, was sentenced for his role in a $28.3 million Medicare fraud scheme that involved the submission of false reimbursement claims through numerous physical therapy clinics throughout Florida.  He pleaded guilty in June 2013 to conspiracy to commit health care fraud.

As a result, the 63-year old Fernandez will serve 30 months in prison, and was ordered to forfeit $446,738 and pay the same amount in restitution by U.S. District Judge Susan C. Bucklew in the Middle District of Florida, the U.S. Department of Justice announced.

According to court documents, Fernandez and his co-conspirators illegally billed Medicare for about $28.3 million from 2005 through 2009 by channeling claims through various physical therapy clinics and other business entities throughout Florida. Medicare paid approximately $14.4 million on those claims.

More specifically, Fernandez, a Cuban immigrant with no background in the health care industry, was the straw owner of one of those clinics, Rehab Dynamics Inc., in Venice. Originally, Fernandez wanted to purchase the clinic from his co-conspirators who obtained and managed it, but did not have enough money to do so. Instead, Fernandez was offered approximately $20,000 to pose as straw owner of Rehab Dynamics.

During the time of his ownership—from January through March of 2008—Rehab Dynamics made approximately $1.6 million worth of fraudulent claims seeking reimbursement for rehabilitation therapy services that were never provided. Medicare paid approximately $446,738 on those false claims.

How to Report Miami Medicare Fraud

Healthcare or medical billing employees who have inside 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 between 10 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 Miami whistleblowers to document Medicare fraud and other forms of fraud against the government. Contact Miami Whistleblower / Qui Tam lawyer Tod Aronovitz to discuss a case.